IEEE Adventures in Croatia

Today’s story comes to us from a small country situated on the beautiful Adriatic Coast, Croatia. While this may be one of the smaller sections in the IEEE world, it is very passionate with volunteers who strive for perfection. On another note, you may recall that Nikola Tesla, arguably the world’s greatest thinker was also born in Croatia.

IEEE Day 2014, annual Croatian Student Branch and Young Professionals Congress

IEEE Day 2014, annual Croatian Student Branch and Young Professionals Congress

As IEEE Young Professionals Croatia team is preparing to host the Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress (IEEE CEuSYP), organized together with Student Branch Zagreb University, they are taking a moment to reflect on 2014 which was a huge success for the group.

In 2014 the IEEE Young Professionals Croatia Affinity Group organized four events as part of IEEE Elevate, a program that was initiated in 2013 as a series of lectures gathering young engineers, students, professionals and scientists. It was started by Young Professionals Croatia with the intention to instigate networking between young enthusiasts and visionaries in the ambiance of attractive innovation and emerging technology lectures. They have hosted seven such events to date and brought together a mixture of technology, entrepreneurship and networking. Topics of recent Elevate events include: electronic money, online games industry, fusion of art and science, developing software for space industry, etc.

Step event - Career skills

Step event – Career skills

Furthermore, the YP Croatia group organised and hosted a STEP event in October. Fran Mikulicic (MBA, Vanderbilt University), one of the best public speech coaches in the region, presented on the art of public speaking, job hunting, verbal persuasion and business negotiations – skills crucial for career development. The event was intended to raise the awareness of attendees on the important of self-presentation for their future career. They were expected to learn how to get rid of the usual jitters when standing in front of the audience, focus on the participants, their attention, needs and expectation, how to accomplish the individual communication approach with each one of them and finally achieve best possible outcomes.

One of the year’s highlight was the celebration of the IEEE Day in the form of an annual Croatian Student Branch and Young Professionals Congress. Last year, 4th in a row, it was held in the city of Rijeka, Croatia, on 4-5th of October, hosted by the University of Rijeka student branch in cooperation with IEEE Croatia Section and Young Professionals Croatia. The event was attended by 25 representatives from all Croatian student branches. The program focus was based around workshops on  technical and administrative nature, presentations about organized activities, and lots of team building. The congress enabled exchange of ideas, knowledge transfer to the new volunteers, and finally, enabling the students’ transition to active Young Professionals volunteers.

Meeting with Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee

Meeting with Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee

The year was rounded up with the Region 8 Young Professionals Subcommittee meeting that took place in Zagreb, Croatia on December 13-14, 2015. The Young Professionals Croatia Affinity Group officials had the chance to participate in the meeting by contributing to the preparation of the SYP Congress Organization Manual with their experience from previous congress attendances and filed application for organization of SYP Congress in 2014. During the meeting, the Outstanding Volunteer Award was given to Young Professionals Croatia Affinity Group Vice-Chair Ivana Stupar.

If you would like to find out more check out the Young Professionals Croatia activities at www.ieee.hr/ieeesection/yp and www.facebook.com/IEEEYPCroatia, and meet them at the Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress in Zagreb, on May 8-10, 2015. To find out more about the Congress please visit http://www.ceusyp2015.org/

Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress, Zagreb, May 8-10 2015

Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress,
Zagreb, May 8-10 2015

The editorial team thanks the Croatian Young Professionals and wish them the best of luck in 2015.

Article contributed by Vinko Lesic, Young Professionals Chair of Croatia.

There is somethIEEEng about Norway

A recently established IEEE Young Professionals affinity group in Norway is the focus of today’s article. The group quickly set out some goals to create awareness about its purposes and activities between IEEE members and non-members. In order to achieve that, a STEP event titled “Opportunities for Young Professionals in IEEE” which took place on October 7th in Trondheim at NTNU, the main university for higher education in engineering and technology in Norway.

IEEE Day in Norway

IEEE Day in Norway

The event tried to answer the following questions:

  • Who is considered a Young Professional in IEEE?
  • What exactly is this Young Professional Affinity Group about?
  • Why should I be active in IEEE as a Young Professional?
  • How do I get involved?

Mixing short informative presentations with group activities, it was possible to show to the 31 participants (17 IEEE members and 14 non-members) that there are myriad of opportunities within the IEEE to assist with evaluation of their career goals, polishing their professional image, and creating the building blocks of a lifelong and diverse professional network.

Human IEEE

Human IEEE

In addition, IEEE Day was also celebrated. The main teamwork activity challenged participants to take pictures that best represent the theme of IEEE Day 2014: “Leveraging Technology for a Better Tomorrow”. All groups were extremely creative and the cooperative work produced high quality pictures. Afterwards, it was a hard job for the organization the selection of just a few pictures to be posted in the IEEE Day photo contest.

IEEE Human Jack

IEEE Human Jack

All in all, the event was very successful in its main goal. The evaluations have shown that most of participants were not aware of IEEE programs and tools of special interest to YPs, such as ResumeLab, MentorCentre, E-learning tools, and some of the community and humanitarian activities. Moreover, some of participants became new members and others volunteered to contribute with the AG activities and to promote IEEE in their network.

News contributed by Erick Alves, Chair – IEEE Young Professionals, Norway

 

Spring STEP in Hyderabad

IEEE Young Professionals Hyderabad, in association with the IEEE Student Branch at Vignana Bharathi Institute of Technology (VBIT), conducted their first STEP of the year in March.

The STEP (Student Transition andSTEP in Hyderabad March 2014 Elevation Partnership) program assists student members as they graduate and transition to higher levels of IEEE membership. This session of STEP featured career development talks from the industry leaders, with an emphasis on the benefits of IEEE and the benefits of volunteering.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014The event was held in the campus auditorium and attracted around 165 participants, making it one of the largest STEP events held in Hyderabad. A majority of the audience (around 90 people) were not IEEE members, offering a ripe opportunity to encourage students to join IEEE.

The event began with a welcome and opening remarks by Preeti Kovvali (IEEE YP Hyderabad Chair) and Sowmya Mekala (IEEE YP Hyderabad Secretary).

This was followed by a presentation from Mr. Aditya Rao of Oracle India on “The power of volunteering and how it makes you a leader.” Mr. Aditya served as Chair of the IEEE Computer Society chapter in Hyderabad Section and is now a part of that chapter’s Membership Development Committee. During his talk, he discussed the importance of volunteering and how a volunteer can enhance his or her career by being part of a professional organization like IEEE. Using examples from his personal experience, he emphasized how volunteering helps a person become a professional and a leader.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014The second presentation, from Mr. Hari Prasad Devarapalli of Tata Consultancy Services’ Business Systems and Cybernetics Center, was titled “Professionalism.” Mr. Prasad, shared thoughts from his extensive industry and volunteering experience as one of the senior members of the IEEE Hyderabad. He underscored the tremendous, daily effort required for a person to develop and sustain a professional bearing. He also highlighted the advantages of being professional in the workplace, including being in sync with the goals of the company and enhancing one’s ability to set and reach personal goals.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014Following the presentations, the program transitioned to networking and social activities. Participants were divided into teams and given tasks to be completed in a stipulated time. The students received this quite well, and it turned out to be the highlight of the event.

At the conclusion of the program, we recognized volunteers from the IEEE Hyderabad section to thank them for their outstanding contributions to the section and the IEEE R10 Congress conducted last year.

We are grateful to the volunteersSTEP in Hyderabad March 2014 from the student branch for helping us organize such a wonderful and fruitful event. We would also like to thank Elie Rosen from the IEEE YP STEP team, who has encouraged and supported us in organizing this event. Finally, we would like to thank Ms. Mounika Molagara for her exemplary leadership as the VBIT Student Branch Chair.

STEP in Hyderabad March 2014

Article contributed by Preeti Kovvali, IEEE Hyderabad Section Young Professionals Chair

More photos from the event are posted on Facebook.

Multi-Day STEP Event in Rio De Janeiro

The IEEE Rio de Janeiro Young Professionals organized a 2-day STEP program in December of 2013. The event was held in the amphitheater of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Open to all undergraduate senior students including non-IEEE members, the main objective of the event was to inform students about the various career paths they could choose after graduation.

First-day panelists at the IEEE STEP event in Rio de Janeiro

First-day panelists at the IEEE STEP event in Rio de Janeiro

The event was organized as panel sessions, with each panelist given 15 to 20 minutes to talk about his or her professional journey. After the speeches completed, the event became an open forum where students could ask questions.

On the first day of the event, three young entrepreneurs were invited to discuss  their careers and their reasons for choosing those careers. The main discussion point was “why and how did you become an entrepreneur?” The panelists  also discussed the challenges they faced in their careers. The following speakers were invited: Ms. Andressa Sivolella, owner of the Twist Company; Mr. Ricardo Clemente, patron of the Intelie Company; and Dr. Mamour Sop Ndiaye, owner of Africa Arte.

Second-day panelists at the IEEE STEP event in Rio de Janeiro

Second-day panelists at the IEEE STEP event in Rio de Janeiro

On the second day, the session comprised four young researchers, two from the GE Global Research Centre in Brazil and two from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). All of them discussed their careers in detail and highlighted the differences between academia and industry. The second-day panelists were: Dr. Debora Reis from the GE Global Research Centre, Dr. Rodrigo Salim from the GE Global Research Centre, Dr. Guilherme Rolim from UFRJ, and Dr. Robson Dias from UFRJ.

Overall, the event was a success and we are looking forward to organizing our next STEP event.

Article contributed by Robson Dias, IEEE Rio de Janeiro Section Young Professionals Chair

Tunisia YP STEP Event on Green Power and Renewable Energy

The Tunisia IEEE Young Professionals affinity group (AG) conducted its 3rd IEEE Student Transition & Elevation Partnership (STEP) program at the National Engineering School of Sfax (ENIS) on the 16th of November, 2013, which was attended by 60 students and young professionals. The event was held in cooperation with the Tunisia chapter of the Power and Energy Society (PES) and the PES student chapter at ENIS.

The event began with the presentation of the 2013 IEEE YP Hall of Fame award to the Tunisian YP AG, after which the AG Chairwoman Chiraz Walha discussed the challenges of transitioning from student life to professional life and explained various aspects of IEEE’s support during this transition. This talk was an opportunity to encourage recently-graduated student members to renew their memberships as professionals.

The second talk was presented by Professor Bruno Meyer, IEEE Fellow, CEO of ARTERIA (RTE Group) in France, and 2013 IEEE PES President-Elect candidate. Prof. Meyer presented an overview of PES and its benefits for members, especially those applicable to students and young professionals.

Prof. Bruno Meyer presents his distinguished lecture at the Tunisia IEEE YP STEP event

Prof. Bruno Meyer presents his distinguished lecture at the Tunisia IEEE YP STEP event

Following this, Prof. Meyer presented his distinguished lecture on key research and development challenges for European transmission system operators. He explained the struggles of adapting transmission systems to cope with new green technologies, and emphasized the importance of smart grids to industry in the current energy market. He also outlined a few projects implemented by the European network of transmission system operators, including the French transmission system operator (RTE). Finally, Prof. Meyer shared his experiences working with various organizations, outlined his career path, and detailed his relationship with the university.

The talk was followed by a networking reception, also used as an occasion for student and young professional volunteers to share their experiences working with IEEE and its contributions to their professional career.

In the closing, certificates of accomplishment and official Tunisia IEEE YP AG t-shirts were presented to congratulate the graduating IEEE student members.

Tunisia IEEE YP AG Chairwoman Chiraz Walha presents a certificate of appreciation to Prof. Bruno Meyer

Tunisia IEEE YP AG Chairwoman Chiraz Walha presents a certificate of appreciation to Prof. Bruno Meyer

Article contributed by Chiraz Walha, Habib M. Kammoun, Soufien Kammoun, and Mouna Baklouti of the Tunisia Young Professionals AG Executive Committee

IEEE GOLD and PES in Boston Host Joint STEP Event

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Image credit: Mert Korkali, IEEE PES NU Treasurer

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

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

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

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

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

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

Successful STEPs in the Argentina Section

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article contributed by Augusto Herrera, IEEE GOLD Region 9