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

Central Europe in focus at CEuSYP

Continuing the tradition of Central European cross-section congresses, after Linz in 2011 and Opole in 2013, this time Central European Student and Young Professionals Congress (CEuSYP) was held in Croatia, from May 8 to 10, 2015, at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Zagreb. This Congress edition was attended by 80 participants – student members and Young Professionals, as well as speakers, sections’ and Region 8 representatives from twelve IEEE Sections including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, and Ukraine.

One of the main goals of the Congress was to bring students and young professionals together, increase the interest of students to remain volunteers after graduation and participate in the activities of their local Young Professional affinity groups. Special focus was also the transfer of knowledge to new volunteers, as well as recently established or reactivated student branches and Young Professionals affinity groups. However, what these congresses are really imbued with is the enormous amount of motivating energy sprouting from each young engineer and volunteer that reminds us of what keeps the world spinning. The greatest examples carried and spread this vigour all the way to the senior membership.

Congress Atmosphere

After the organizers welcoming speech, the opening of Congress was initiated by Mislav Grgic, the Dean of the Faculty and IEEE Croatia Section Chair and our special guests followed with their presentations: Margaretha Eriksson, Region 8 Director-Elect, and Christian Schmid, Region 8 Secretary, emphasising the importance of student and Young Professionals volunteers in the future of IEEE. The Congress program was filled with plenary sessions related to Young Professionals, Student, Technical, Professional and Educational activities, aiming to inform the participants about the breaking initiatives and programs. Interaction and teamwork were the centre of technical, volunteer and soft skills improving workshops. Participating student branches and affinity groups shared their significant and unique stories and exchanged ideas of activities or upcoming events and gave insights in new trends in science and technology.

After all, events like these are a great place to learn everything you ever wanted to know about IEEE, other student branches and young professional affinity groups, to make new international contacts and friendships, and to do it in the most fun and catchy way. Organisationally, it was a great intersection of our young professionals and students in the most collaborative, productive, interesting and joyful way.

CEuSYP 2015 Participants

More information about the CEuSYP can be found at: www.ceusyp2015.org and

https://www.facebook.com/pages/IEEE-CESYP-Congress-2015/836051769789015?fref=ts

Article contributed by Vinko Lešić, Croatia Section Young Professionals Chair and Ivana Stupar, Croatia Section Student Activities Chair

Article edited by Michael Gough, Assistant Editor, IEEE IMPACT

How to Organise a Student and Young Professional Congress

Today’s article comes to us from Region 8 and focuses on the organisation of student/young professional congresses. This thorough manual was put together by the wonderful volunteers of this region.

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The Student and Young Professional Congress (SYP Congress) is an event that takes place every two years in Region 8. It gathers both student and young professional members from all Sections in the Region and it provides an opportunity to network and get to know over four hundred people from all over the world. During the Congress, a wide variety of workshops and lectures are organized, dealing with interesting topics in diverse technical fields and also related to soft skills. Organizing such an event provides the opportunity to gain many different skills, from teamwork to fundraising, as well as it increases the profile of the student branch at region level. In general terms, it will improve the organizers’ CV. One very important fact to be taken into account is that this congress is not a regular conference or business oriented event. It must be volunteering, where organizers are motivated by enjoying the experience of engaging with the larger IEEE community and providing IEEE members an exceptional event. Since it is volunteer based, things like subcontracting more services than the minimum needed or having a surplus in the final budget must be strongly avoided. This event takes place in only one student branch at a time, and it involves a lot of work for more than a year… but in the end the congress is an excellent experience that is completely worth it in terms of new friends and many awesome experiences, in both professional and personal scopes. Also, it gives the chance to strengthen the collaboration with the Young Professional Affinity Group. This document intends to be a guide for those who are thinking to apply to organize this Congress, and it will try to help in the organization process, from the very beginning to the very end. There are also many Cross-sectional Congresses that usually take place the year in between two Region congresses, and most of this document is also valid in the organization of those.

  1. Motivation to organize a SYP Congress
  2. Preparing the application
  3. Organizing the congress
  4. During the congress
  5. After the congress

The full manual can be downloaded using the download image below

downloadtoday

Uganda: Community Projects for Economic Growth

Today we are highlighting some very exciting Young Professional activity in Uganda with Mr. Ezabo Baron who has been driving the Engineering Projects in Community Service program (EPICS).

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Can you please briefly describe the IEEE community in Uganda?

The IEEE Uganda Subsection was formed in 2013. In the last 2 years the section has worked closely with the IEEE Kenya Section. As engineers we had to realize that we have big roles to play in our community development. We needed to get our people involved as a way of addressing the needs of the society.  There was also a need for us to unite our engineers and to take part in standards development for our country’s engineering products.

We have over 40 active members abd are continuously working to recruit more. Our members meet at the beginning of each year to set activity strategies. We are actively engaging them in the Teacher In-Service Program (TISP) and Engineering Projects in Community Service program (EPICS). Some of our student members have participated in the Mobile Application Development Contests (MadC). A large portion of our effort is in raising IEEE awareness in universities, government bodies, schools and industry.

The IEEE culture in Uganda is alive. From our observations, a vast proportion of the professional community is aware of the IEEE and our subsection has been able to  help them learn more about its benefits and how working with the IEEE can be beneficial. We are yet to form student branches, the effort is to recruit more students in major academic institutions and help them establish their own branches. This is amongst the top priorities.

IEEE Members at the TISP Training, Nairobi 2014

IEEE Members at the TISP Training, Nairobi 2014

Tell us about your personal IEEE journey and what has been your major achievements to date

I got to know about the IEEE in 2008 through a friend who gave me one of the magazines to read. I was fascinated by the diversity within IEEE. Upon joining the IEEE, I was elected as publicity secretary for the Uganda Subsection. Recently, the IEEE Ad Hoc Committee for Activities in Africa appointed me to serve as the Community Moderator for IEEE Collabratec Kampala Uganda Community. I publicize IEEE activities in Uganda, mobilize members for meetings and events. I am also active in the creation of promotional materials for our local subsection. I have participated numerous times in IEEE trainings in East Africa and am one of the Subsection TISP Champions currently working with members in Uganda to develop a web-based solution for technology innovation management. This has been possible with generous support from EPICS in the IEEE Committee.

What are goals of IEEE EPICS for 2015-2016? 

In 2012 the government of Uganda developed a new framework for Science, Technology and Innovation development, empowering various stakeholder organizations to take active roles in implementing the STI development plan. In line with this, we have engaged university and high school students from Makerere, Kyambogo University and Entebbe Secondary School to work with Humanitarian Innovation Technical Institute (not-for-profit innovation structure) and IEEE Uganda Subsection members to develop a web-based solution for Science, Technology and Innovation Management. This will be used  to collaboratively generate, identify and select innovative community projects for further development as a way of uplifting the population from absolute poverty.

High School Students Make Robots During National Robitcs Challange Cup at Makerere University

High School Students Make Robots During National Robotics Challenge Cup at Makerere University

How will the EPICS projects really impact and change the overall condition of Uganda?

The EPICS projects will help to strengthen Uganda’s invention, innovation and entrepreneurship base by:

  • Enhancing research activities in science and technology
  • Improving awareness of community inventions and innovations
  • Providing an environment for intellectual property protection
  • Leading to the achievement of financial stability through arrangement of partnership with investors, donors
  • Creating employment opportunities and promoting industrial development

How can the overall IEEE community assist the IEEE Uganda and the EPICS project during this time?

IEEE Uganda recognizes that there are a number of communities out there who need similar platforms. We look forward to partnering with various organizations and technologists in establishing more of these innovation platforms in various IEEE countries. Visibility of such a valuable solution is possible through various publications and we are looking for organizations that can help in raising awareness of what we are doing.

Ezabo Baron and Lwanga Herbert Introducing IEEE to Students in Makerere University

Ezabo Baron and Lwanga Herbert Introducing IEEE to Students in Makerere University

We have also scheduled entrepreneurship training for scientists and engineers in Uganda where members will be trained in the processes of innovation and inventions.

Interview conducted by Sarang Shaikh, Senior Assistant Editor, GOLDRush

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

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Today’s story is about a group of talented IEEE Young Professionals from the Technical College of Kirkuk (Iraq), who, amidst all the instability, invested their attention to developing future leaders. IEEE Senior Member Hussein Al-Bayati along with the Member Development Officer Ahmad Alaiady and the Deputy Chairman of Iraq Sections Dr. Sattar Sadkhan delivered an inspirational and interactive lecture on ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’.

IEEE Senior member Hussein Al-Bayati delivering the lecture

IEEE Senior member Hussein Al-Bayati delivering the lecture

 

Although motivation for Young Professionals around the world to tackle global problems is not lacking, they are not always equipped with the knowledge they need. They must take initiative in developing the skills and attributes to succeed in life. This was the intent behind organizing a lecture on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

It is commendable, something most of us may never fully comprehend, that the IEEE Young Professionals team in Iraq is striving to produce future leaders, better leaders to lead their nation towards a conflict free country. The lecture was based on the famous Dr. Stephen Covey’s book – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Dr. Stephen Covey is a well-known author who has inspired millions around the world to lead a life of principles. His message for leading a meaningful and successful life is woven in the 7 habits of highly effective people. As David Starr Jordon, the Founding President of Stanford University, states in the very first lines of the book that there is no real excellence in all this world which can be separated from right living. And that is how the author sets out to attempt to change our deepest paradigms.

Dr. Stephen Covey

Dr. Stephen Covey

“Most people’s lives run on auto-pilot and there is no self-awareness about their daily habits. This results in the absence of a plan for life, and that they do not get the opportunity to lead their lives. Most people’s lives are affected by external factors like the environment, community, family and friends” says Hussein Al-Bayati.

HABIT 1: Be proactive – Because we are humans, we have the ability to see ourselves, our attitudes and behaviours as though we were someone else. This ability called ‘self-awareness’ has helped us advance as a race in the most significant ways. As long as we are self-aware, we can see the consequences of our words and actions and say and do the right things, we can choose. In the words of the author, our basic nature is to act and not be acted upon. Each of the 6 habits depends on the ability of being proactive. It assists in creating a balance between P(Production) and PC (Production Capacity).

HABIT 2: Start with the end in mind – The most fundamental application of this habit is to imagine the end of your life as a reference against which all life’s experience will be marked. This helps to significantly contribute daily to our lives. To start with the end in mind also means clearly knowing the destination for without that knowledge, one is lost. We either design our lives or we operate in the default mode. The most effective way to start the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement. In essence, habit 1 lets you be the creator and habit 2 is your final creation.

HABIT 3: Put first things first – Contrary to belief, the third habit points that the key is not to prioritize what’s on schedule, but to schedule your priorities. The first step towards developing habit 3 is to make a list of roles that you play, say, in a week. Once the roles are defined, goals need to be defined and then each goal must be translated into a task. Prioritizing activities even before knowing if they will help achieve your personal mission is disastrous as you might prioritize and achieve goals which you never needed. Using a computer metaphor, habit 1 says “You are the program”, habit 2 says “Write the program” and habit 3 says “Run the program”.

HABIT 4: Think Win-Win – Win-Win is a mindset which constantly seeks to mutual benefit for all parties involved. In the words of the author, win-win sees life as a cooperative, not a competitive arena. Win-Win is a paradigm based on the fundamental principle that there is enough for everyone in this world. There are three character traits essential to the win-win paradigm which is Integrity, Maturity and the Abundance mentality.

HABIT 5: Seek First to Understand and then to be understood – Trying to understand other people’s points of views is very important as it assists us in being empathetic towards them. Not all emotions can be heard in words and hence trying to first understand other people gives us the reference we need to make them understand our point of view. This is a powerful habit of interdependence.

HABIT 6: Synergize – The exercise of all the above habits help in the habit of synergy. In the words of the author, Synergy is the essence of Principle centred leadership. It catalyses, unifies and unleashes the greatest power in people. The definition of synergy is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If you plant two plants close together, their roots will combine and make the soil fertile so as to benefit both the plants. The whole is better than its parts or one plus one equals three or more.

HABIT 7: Sharpen the Saw – Habit 7 is the principle of balanced self-renewal. In the words of the author, habit 7 is taking the time to sharpen the saw instead of wasting time and energy sawing with an unsharpened saw. It’s enhancing the greatest asset we have – us. We need to replenish our body, our soul, and our minds to ensure we work effectively. Daily exercises for the physical body, nourishment for the soul by doing things we love and our minds by self-analysing daily can be powerful tools to sharpen the saw.

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The lecture on the 7 habits of highly effective people saw a very good turnout which is just proof of the direction in which positive minded IEEE Young Professionals in Iraq are moving towards.

Lastly, the IEEE GOLDRush team would like to congratulate the IEEE Young Professionals team in Iraq for organizing some outstanding events amidst such unrest. We are proud to present this article to the world in the hope that Iraq can be seen in new light, in the light of hope and courage and a strong willingness to create better future leaders.

Article edited by Sneha Kangralkar, Assistant Editor, GOLDRush

“Afro-tech-girls” Breaking down traditional barriers

Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Adeola Shasanya from Lagos, Nigeria. Adeola is currently an Electrical Engineering and Renewable Consultant with the Lagos State Electricity Board. She has worked tirelessly with young girls throughout Lagos State and surrounds to raise awareness and promote STEM careers through the organisation, “Afro-Tech Girls”.

Adeola Shasanya (left) and Morenike Johnson (Afro-Tech Girl Founders)

Adeola Shasanya (left) and Morenike Johnson (Afro-Tech Girl Founders)

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your work history, particularly focusing around the current energy industry and challenges faced in Nigeria.

I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria and have always had a keen interest in the sciences and technology. As a child I gravitated toward activities that had “STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” at its core, such as puzzles, jigsaws and Lego. Even my cartoons of choice were technology themed; ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’ being my favourite. Having that inclination from an early age, studying Engineering was the natural progression for me. I have a Bachelor Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and a Masters in Renewable Energy and Clean Technology from the University of Manchester.

On-site during an energy audit exercise at a Lagos State School

On-site during an energy audit exercise at a Lagos State School

My work experience to date has been quite diverse within the engineering field. I have worked in construction, technology consulting and energy research which has enabled me to gain a multi-facet view of the industry.

At present I work within the Lagos State Electricity Board. I have been privileged to work on various projects in my time there, focusing primarily on the Lagos Solar Project. This project provides state owned schools and health centres with solar plants as an alternative source of energy. This project was set up to relieve the supply from the national grid, creating more power to consumers.

2.  How did you get involved with the IEEE or hear about the IEEE and what benefits has this had on your career?

I first became involved with the IEEE during my undergraduate degree at Covenant University, Ogun State, Nigeria, being a key member of the student chapter. Being a part of the IEEE has impacted me greatly, enabling me to draw on the skills and values I have gained not only in my studies, but also in my work. It has helped me in my research of ‘smart grids’ and renewable energy during my dissertation. During my postgraduate studies I had the pleasure of meeting other IEEE students and professionals through various chapter meetings. This provided me with the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals and call on support for advice.

3. The IEEE is thrilled to see your detailed work engaging particularly females to take up STEM careers. Could you please highlight the challenges you have identified that young females have experienced and what you believe can be done to make STEM careers more inclusive?

Growing up, engineering was always perceived to be a ‘male dominated’ field. The struggle, however, lies in difficulties and challenges facing young women trying to break into industry. Luckily, I was raised around women in my family that had done well in STEM industries despite the various barriers imposed in their time.

In my short career, I have observed numerous challenges to women in STEM careers.

Namely, one of these is the concept of ‘tokenism’. A lot of the time, entire teams or departments will have only one token woman, or just one female representation at senior management level. This often results to a feeling of isolation and a hostile working environment; a direct result of a lack of mentoring. The lack of female representation in the STEM field has meant that many in the coming generations will have no direct pathway on how to achieve their career goals and no one accessible to turn to for such guidance.

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To make STEM careers more inclusive, I believe the battle begins in the classroom from the ages as early as five and six. Girls and boys should be given equal encouragement and equal opportunities to take up STEM subjects.

More scholarships and funding of extra-curricular programs and workshops should be made available to encourage female participation. I would love to see such initiatives included on the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programmes of leading firms. I also believe one on one mentoring programs with women in STEM would go a long way to seeing the playing field become more even. This way, girls will have direct access to first-hand information of what it takes to work in the industry and they can better equip themselves for a successful career.


4. You and your colleagues have tirelessly worked with the setup of the Afro-Tech Girls non-governmental organisation over the last couple of years. Could you please outline what initiatives this group does and perhaps what programs and events the group undertakes.

‘Afro-tech Girls’ was created to inspire young girls to become interested in STEM through creativity, art and innovation.  We have had various “meet and greet” sessions with some of the Lagos State schools. This was undertaken to gain an insight on how girls see women in technology and also to build a longstanding and meaningful relationship with the girls that we meet.

Earlier this year, we ran a competition called ‘Sciletes’ for senior secondary school girls from various schools across Lagos State. The competition was a quiz based on math, physics, chemistry and biology.  Our findings showed that the Lagos state school system provided a genuine pool of intelligent and talented young girls, who with the proper motivation and guidance could develop into valuable contributors within the STEM industry.

We are currently working on a logo competition where girls can design the Afro-Tech girl logo from what they feel a woman in STEM should be like. Later this year, we are planning a full career day which will involve key notes by accomplished women in STEM as well engaging practical exercises.

Pic45. What advice can you provide to IEEE Young Professionals seeking to make their mark in the world of engineering and technology?

I have always believed that anyone can do anything with the right mental attitude and given the necessary tools and opportunities. I would tell any young lady seeking to build a career in engineering and technology, or in fact anyone who enquires, that hard work and drive cannot be compromised.  Focus on your abilities and the opportunities around you, and maximise those rather than looking at what seemingly limits you. Be ever learning and improving. Prepare for opportunities through self-education. There is too much free information through the wonder of the internet to stay uninformed. I would say find a mentor. It doesn’t have to be someone you have access to. It can be a well known public figure, or a CEO, or even a woman you discovered on Linkedin. But it should be someone you can relate to and who is a good example so that you can study their journey.

Do not be limited by anything. The way to overcome fears and limitations is to attempt, so always have a ‘go for it’ attitude. The worst you can be told is no. But rest assured the more you attempt, the better you’re getting and the more you increase your capacity and ability.  And finally, never get discouraged. You may encounter lots of trials and knock backs along the way, but gear yourself not to quit and to be in it for the long haul.

The Afro-Tech Girls Team

The Afro-Tech Girls Team

For more information on Adeola’s work with ‘Afro-Tech Girls’ please like their Facebook page at; https://www.facebook.com/afrotechgirls

Article edited by Michael Gough, Assistant Editor, GOLDRush 

An IEEE beacon of light in Iraq

Today’s story is a very sad one, but also one filled with a sense of pride and hope. The once beautiful country of Iraq has experienced much hardship in recent times, going from one conflict to another. Following the withdraws of foreign troops in 2011, the country has plunged into unrest which has led to deep division. With the current difficulties in Iraq, we have had the pleasure of speaking with one of the beacons of hope, a dedicated IEEE volunteer, Saad Jasim, the IEEE Young Professional Chair of Iraq. Saad and his IEEE volunteers see no division and no barriers in educating others, even in the hardest of times. Currently there are over 3 million displaced people in Iraq as a result of the attack of terrorism forces (ISIS), amongst them many IEEE members and their loved ones. These families are distributed in many cities and the IEEE Iraq Section is continuously visiting these families to offer them any kind of support possible.

Dr. Sattar with student and local volunteers

Dr. Sattar with student and local volunteers

An overview of IEEE Young Professional activity in Iraq

IEEE has been in operation in Iraq since 2008 and since then has taken major steps in expanded IEEE offerings from conferences, workshops, specific lessons, and many social activities. This has been highly beneficial to the entire Iraqi society and in particular to educational bodies such as universities and colleges. The IEEE Iraqi volunteers support the educational bodies by introducing the core values and objectives of the IEEE and the scientific activities which assist in promoting the engineering profession. Iraq has 18 cities and many rural regions which are not easy to access. As such, a major effort is required to distribute the activities throughout the country. The dedication of the IEEE volunteers has made this possible. The IEEE in Iraq have an active Communication and Computer society as well as enthusiastic YP and WIE affinity groups.  Since 2012, the IEEE Young Professionals of Iraq have run many valuable events supported in many instances financially by volunteers in times of hardship. Some of their activities are listed below:

  • Social gatherings to introduce the vast interests of IEEE to students, professionals and communities
  • Lessons on wireless communications (2G,3G and evolution of 4G) for many companies.
  • Robotic lessons supported by professional experts
  • IEEE day celebrations on an annual basis with other volunteers and share it with non-members like children.
  • Dinner meetings and discussing for future direction
  • Management of IEEE Iraq section elections

In the words of Saad Jasim

Before the ISIS conflicts, the education in Iraq was normal but the internal conflicts heavily impeded on the progress of education. For example the road between Baghdad and the northern cities has been extremely dangerous, preventing students from travelling freely. As a result of the country status, permission for thousands of students to complete higher education outside of the country was given and this has complicated the lives for the families due to displacements, cost of living and education is high and the economy and salaries not sufficient. I can say that in Iraq we have the ability to live through the hardest of times because hard times such as this turn your heart to “iron”.

Dr. Sattar encouraging students to think positively

Dr. Sattar encouraging students to think positively

 

When ISIS occupied some cities of Iraq and applied their rules on the citizens there, the link with the central education system was destroyed. ISIS authorities insisted in radically altering the teaching methodology and content for primary and secondary schools because of their views and objections on existing techniques. The Iraqi students in these regions have become extremely confused and the current situation does not support them in their learning requirements. Many of these students have lost family members, their homes and their freedom.  Their history and their future being destroyed in front of their eyes. It is the most dearest wish of all of the IEEE Young Professionals and ordinary citizens that we live in peace and prosperity.

Dr. Sattar helping students

Dr. Sattar helping students

 

Lastly, I would like to share the details of a small IEEE event during the times of conflict. Dr. Sattar, an active IEEE member, recently visited one of schools that is assigned for displaced students from Mosul, Anbar and Tal’afer in (Babil City – Zuhair School). He spent much of his day listening to their hardship, educating them and providing them with words of inspiration that this will all pass and that they have a bright future ahead of the.  “They are our little angles, and all of our wishes are directed at providing them with shelter and security. To give them the happiness and so that they can go back to their homes which they see only in dreams.” says Dr. Sattar.

Last words

“I do apologise that I can not share any more with your readers and that we are not able to document every effort to help others. Please accept this simple report as a means of telling our fellow IEEE members that we are experiencing difficulties and that your support means the world to us. I am sure I’ll be in touch with you in the future since we are all part of the greater IEEE family” says Saad Jasim.

“I have visited many places in and around Babylon offering any assistance I areas between. In all these areas, we have thousands of families who have been expelled or left in fear their homes in northern and western Iraq. The Iraq section has attempted to visit these areas on a regular basis to provide a good picture about the status of these families. We have also made big efforts to visit schools as the pictures show. The last IEEE day was solely dedicated to all the students who are displaced from their homes.  Many of our IEEE Iraq Section members and their families have been collecting “financial support” to help these students. This is our “Social and Human ” responsibility as IEEE members inside our country.” says Dr. Sattar.

Dr. Sattar with future IEEE engineers

Dr. Sattar with future IEEE engineers

Article contributed by Saad Jasim, Chair of the Iraqi IEEE Young Professionals in correspondence with Dr. Eddie Custovic, GOLDRush Editor-in-Chief 

Professional Awareness Conference: Smart Cities

“Smart Cities” is a buzz phrase that is often heard, so it makes sense that IEEE Young Professionals are engaged at the core of this theme. Today’s report comes from Nigeria, where the Young Professionals and Students have put together a two day awareness conference in Nigeria themed around Smart Cities on the 19th and 20th of March 2015.

Smart Cities utilise readily available and emerging digital technologies to improve  performance and wellbeing, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens. There is a myriad of  ‘smart’ sectors which include energy, transport, health care, waste management, water. 

The conference was made of up of exciting technological exhibitions and keynote presentations. Day one featured exhibitions from special guests Prof. M. O Omoigui and representatives from the Great FM Radio Station, Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) and EEESS Officials.

A total of 17 project were showcased, including; Yellow foot – a piezo electrically powered smart shoe for the blind, Artifind – an application to help visitors to a city where art can be viewed, Voissapp – an application designed to network students and teachers within the campus, Security systems for home appliances and many others.

Day two featured industry guest speakers and exhibitors including; Mr. Adeyinka Aderombi (Konga.com), Mr. Ifeayin Odoh (Schneider Electric), Mr. Samuel Enoch-Oghene (TAHMO), Mr. Oloma Ibrahim (Center4tech), Mr. Richards Boyewa (Sanwo), Mr. Femi Omoniyi  (Topupextra) and Mr. Harry Enahoro (Mettalloids).

Students and Young Professionals at the Smart Cities Conference

Students and Young Professionals at the Smart Cities Conference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few key highlights include the presentation/demonstrations from Mr. Aderombi who highlighted the importance of e-commerce and smart cities, Mr. Boyewa Richards who demonstrated “Sanwo.me” an offline payment system and Mr. Odoh from Schneider Electric who presented on innovations in Smart Grid Networks.

TopUpExtra – TopUpExtra is a web and mobile application that avails you the opportunity to recharge your mobile phone with vouchers accessed via a very intuitive, simple to use and innovative system to make the process seamless. Mr Enoch Enoch-Oghene from TAHMO examined Green Energy and Renewables for Smart Cities while Mr Oloma Ibrahim from Center4tech delved into the Transportation and Environmental Health.

Over 200 students, staff and industry personnel attended the two day event. The organisers, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) hope that this event will serve as a platform for students and Young Professionals of Nigeria to consider how they can make their city a smarter city. 

Article contributed by Tobi Taiwo, IEEE OAUSB Chair  and Abdullateef Aliyu, Chair of the Nigerian IEEE Young Professionals

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.

Building extended professional networks through the YP of Germany

Professional and social networking is one of the most important tasks in the early career of an engineer. Therefore, the IEEE Young Professionals Affinity Group of Germany provides numerous networking opportunities for its members. Getting in contact with peers from your field across the globe is most relevant, and IEEE can provide this better than most professional organisations. Two major pillars of networking opportunities have been identified:

Conference Event (Power and Energy Student Summit 2015 in Dortmund)

Conference Event (Power and Energy Student Summit 2015 in Dortmund)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Young Professionals Metropolitan Area Groups (MAG) – There is no better way of communicating than doing it face-to-face. The Young Professionals Metropolitan Area Groups provide an excellent opportunity to get in touch with other engineers from your area. Workshops, Company Visits, Q&A-sessions with senior experts or simply meeting up in a pub to help broaden one’s personal and professional horizon. Three MAGs have been organised so far (Munich, Berlin, Rhine-Ruhr) with more to come.
  2. Young Professionals Conference Events -Joining a technical conference as a young professional sometimes feels like being merely tolerated and a little overwhelming at times. Young Professionals Conference Events provide a great opportunity to get in touch with those that share the same fate. Here, substantial conversation can easily be achieved with a much greater depth than the occasional small talk in the conference hallways. Interesting workshops, guided city tours and dinner events provide an adequate setting. Many of these events in different conference fields have been held during the last two years in Germany, which certainly will be continued because of a lot of encouraging feedback.
YP Germany Team from left to right - Sebastian Sichelschmidt, Ana Cigaran Romeroc, Arne Redl

YP Germany Team from left to right – Sebastian Sichelschmidt, Ana Cigaran Romeroc, Arne Redl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article contributed by Sebastian Sichelschmidt, Young Professionals Chair of Germany.