Women in Engineering Events in 2018 IEEE APS/URSI Conference

2018 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting was held in between July 8th and 13th, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts at The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. This event is the premier international forum for the exchange of ideas on state-of-the-art research in antennas and propagation and radio science.

This year’s technical program included a wide range of technical sessions, workshops, and short courses, as well as numerous exhibits. Through a range of technical and social activities, it provided the opportunity to interact with the world’s leading experts in antennas and propagation and radio science from academia, industry, and government. It also had a number of activities dedicated specifically to students, young professionals, and women engineers. IEEE HOU Sec. Newsletter Chair Dr. Payal Majumdar was awarded IEEE WIE Travel Grant to attend the conference and the IEEE WIE sponsored events.

One such event was “Women in Engineering Lunch & Speaker” which was held on July 10th, 2018. The event had an engaging presentation by Dr. Melissa G. Choi, Head of the Homeland Protection and Air Traffic Control Division at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Dr. Choi shared her success story and spoke how the path to her current position started with music, led to mathematics and ultimately landed in management at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory. From her early modeling and simulation projects, where she had to broaden her own understanding of science, technology, and engineering to later efforts managing groups made up of experts from a variety of technical backgrounds, one consistent key to a successful outcome was understanding, appreciating and synthesizing all the letters in STEM, not just mathematics. During her talk, she described her path, and highlighted along the way some of her favorite examples of projects she had been involved with, from her dissertation research to her current position leading a division that works on everything from sensors to homeland protection and air traffic control to novel technologies for bioengineering and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

 

Another event “Women in Engineering Panel” was held on July 12th, 2018. A Panel Discussion and Network Event Regarding Women in Antennas and Propagation (AP) was presented by Raytheon.

The moderators of the event were:

Professor Alkim Akyurtlu

(University of Massachusetts, Lowell)

Professor Dan Jiao

(Purdue University)

In this event, a group of female and male panelists discussed challenges they have encountered during their career development, and their ways of overcoming these challenges.

The panelists were:

Weng Chew, Distinguished Professor, School of Electrical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA and current President, IEEE Antenna and Prorogation Society

Ellen Ferraro, Director of Research and Technology, Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) Advanced Technology, Raytheon Company, Waltham, MA, USA

Susan Hagness, Philip Dunham Reed Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison, WI, USA

Francesca Vipiana, Associate Professor of Electronics and Telecommunications, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy

Mona Zaghloul, Professor and IEEE Fellow, Director, George Washington University, Institute of MEMS and VLSI Technologies, Washington, DC, USA

In addition, the panelists engaged the audience to brainstorm how to create a more diverse and inclusive environment to better support a woman’s career in AP. A Continental Breakfast was served.

Article written by Newsletter Chairperson: Payal MajumdarLet us know if you would like to be part of the newsletter team capturing events and sharing our stories.

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