All posts by ggdowski

15 of 22 Sections within Region 1(68.2%) reached their 2018 recruitment goals

For the first time in ten years, higher grade recruitment in the US was positive.

15 of 22 Sections within Region 1(68.2%) reached their 2018 recruitment goals; the second highest percentage worldwide, just behind Region 2 (70%)! 12 of 22 Sections with R1 reached their 2018 retention goals.

Region 1 had a recruitment goal of 3,481 individuals to its overall membership.  We recruited 3,687 individuals this year – 105.9% of our goal! In addition, we were also very close in attaining our overall retention goal (99.7%).

Congratulations to the 8 Sections that achieved BOTH of their recruitment and retention goals and earned the gold medal of recognition!

  • Mid-Hudson Section
  • Green Mountain Section
  • Syracuse Section
  • Schenectady Section
  • Buffalo Section
  • Mohawk Valley Section
  • Providence Section
  • Boston Section

Congratulations to these Sections for achieving their 2018 recruitment goal!

  • Springfield Section
  • New Hampshire Section
  • Princeton/Central Jersey Section
  • New Jersey Coast Section
  • Binghamton Section
  • Long Island Section
  • Rochester Section

Congratulations to these Sections for achieving their 2018 retention goal!

  • Maine Section
  • Connecticut Section
  • Ithaca Section
  • North Jersey Section

Overall Region 1 Membership statistics

Region 1 2018 2017 Change
Higher-Grade w/o GSM 25,277 25,952 (675) -2.6%
Graduate Students 1,365 1,332 33 2.5%
Undergraduate Students 1,476 1,351 125 9.3%
Totals 28,118 28,635 (517) -1.8%

 

2018 IEEE Region 1 Major Awards Released!

On behalf of the Region 1 Awards and Recognition Committee, I am pleased to inform you of the following 2018 IEEE Region 1 Award recipients.  All recipients have been notified.  Please feel free to congratulate the following individuals for their dedication and service to IEEE.

Cathy Chen (New York)
Young Professionals Award
For reviving the New York Section’s IEEE Young Professionals Affinity Group; and, for being instrumental in organizing events and connecting young professionals in the NYC Metro area

Gagan Choudhury (New Jersey Coast)
Technological Innovation (Industry or Government) Award
For developing a wide array of SDN controller algorithms for greatly improving the flexibility, scalability and robustness of large packet/optical networks

Craig Cobb (Syracuse)
Outstanding Support for the Mission of the IEEE, MGA, Region 1 and/or Section Award
For outstanding contributions to the IEEE Syracuse Section, the Circuits & Systems and Computer Chapters, and the Life Members Affinity Group

Casimer DeCusatis (Mid-Hudson)
Outstanding Teaching in an IEEE Area of Interest (University or College) Award
For outstanding contributions to cybersecurity education

Frank Demarest (Connecticut)
Technological Innovation (Industry or Government) Award
For extensive industrial innovation in interferometry and metrology

Murat Demirbas (Buffalo)
Technological Innovation (Academic) Award
For significant contributions in distributed systems

Cristian A. Linte (Rochester)
Outstanding Teaching in an IEEE Area of Interest (University or College) Award
For contributions to the biomedical engineering profession and to educating and training future generation of engineers, in particular, to the field of medical image computing, modeling, and visualization for computer-aided diagnosis and image-guided surgery

Jiebo Luo (Rochester)
Technological Innovation (Academic) Award
For contributions in computer vision and data mining

Xiaochuan Luo (Springfield)
Technological Innovation (Industry or Government) Award
For pioneering cloud computing technology for large-scale power system planning simulations

Alexander Magoun (Princeton/Central Jersey)
Enhancement of the IEEE or Engineering Profession’s Image with the Public Award
For creating a space and maintaining the history of the Princeton/Central Jersey Section that allows the public to view important inventions created by electrical engineers

Michael Miller (North Jersey)
Outstanding Support for the Mission of the IEEE, MGA, Region 1 and/or Section Award
For contributions to the IEEE New York and IEEE North Jersey Sections and its PES and IAS Chapters

William Nelson (Boston)
Outstanding Support for the Mission of the IEEE, MGA, Region 1 and/or Section Award
For outstanding service and continuing leadership to the IEEE Boston Section and the IEEE Photonics Society at the Chapter, Section, and international levels

Ajay Rajkumar (North Jersey)
Technological Innovation (Industry or Government) Award
For pioneering work in the area of modeling, service applications, network performance, end-to-end all-IP flat mobile network and seamless handovers across heterogeneous wireless networks

Emre Salman (Long Island)
Technological Innovation (Academic) Award
For outstanding contributions to developing energy-efficient and secure 3D integrated circuits

Tarunraj Singh (Buffalo)
Technological Innovation (Academic) Award
For pioneering contributions in the field of controller design under uncertainty and nonlinear estimation for disparate applications

David Soll (Princeton/Central Jersey)
Outstanding Support for the Mission of the IEEE, MGA, Region 1 and/or Section Award
For outstanding service to the IEEE Princeton/Central Jersey Section through continuing service and contributions as a member of the Executive Committee

Ramalingam Sridhar (Buffalo)
Technological Innovation (Academic) Award
For research accomplishments and leadership in system on chip, power-performance tradeoffs in mobile & embedded solutions

Huan Tan (Schenectady)
Technological Innovation (Industry or Government) Award
For outstanding and continuous contributions to innovation and leadership in creating service robotic systems significantly impacting the industry in various domains

Brian Telfer (Boston)
Technological Innovation (Industry or Government) Award
For technical leadership and contributions to radar and biosignal processing and machine learning for national security

Suseel Thomas (New York)
Managerial Excellence in an Engineering Organization
For excellence in electrical engineering management in the construction of vital railroad signaling capital infrastructure works for the MTA New York City Transit subway system

Shambhu Upadhyaya (Buffalo)
Technological Innovation (Academic) Award
For research accomplishments and leadership in cybersecurity

Thomas Villani (New York)
Outstanding Support for the Mission of the IEEE, MGA, Region 1 and/or Section Award
For outstanding service to the IEEE New York Section and support of the mission to members within the PES/IAS Joint Chapter and community

Liudong Xing (Providence)
Outstanding Teaching in an IEEE Area of Interest (University or College) Award
For outstanding and sustained contributions as an educator and mentor in the fields of computer engineering and reliability engineering

John Yagielski (Schenectady)
Enhancement of the Relationship between IEEE and Industry Award
For longstanding and significant contributions to Technical Committee activities, standards and guides representing the electric power industry

Peng Zhang (Connecticut)
Technological Innovation (Academic) Award
For strong leadership and outstanding contributions in research and teaching in the areas of microgrids, smart communities and cities, cyber-physical security and smart ocean systems

Jason Hui
Region 1 Awards and Recognition Chair
jason.k.hui@ieee.org

IEEE-USA’s Stance on the H-1B Visa Program

The R1 Leadership has provided two documents in response to the questions and discussions at our recent Region 1 Board of Governors meeting (August 2018),  concerning the IEEE USA official position on the H-1B Visa Program.  We encourage all R1 Sections to publish these locally in their newsletter.

  1. This first document is the complete transcript of the IEEE USA testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee by then IEEE USA President Peter Eckstein on February 25, 2016.  That can be obtained by following this link: The Impact of High-Skilled Immigration on U.S. Workers, testimony of Peter Eckstein, Senate Judiciary Committee.
  2. The second document, reprinted below, is an article that appeared in the IEEE the Institute on April 21st, 2017.

Green cards are a better way to bring in skilled workers

21 April 2017

IEEE-USA appreciates IEEE Senior Member Qusi Alqarqaz’s post sharing his perspective on the H-1B visa program, published last month on The Instituteonline, and his acknowledgement that the program needs to be reformed. We also recognize that, for many IEEE members living outside the United States, the program represents their best chance of becoming American citizens. They, like Alqarqaz, see H-1B as a positive program because their experiences with it were positive. Unfortunately, that isn’t the whole story.

The legislation referenced in the post is H.R. 670: High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017, one of several H-1B reform bills introduced this year in the U.S. Congress that would curtail abuse of the program. The bill, and others like it, suggests raising wages for H-1B visa holders. That would make it more difficult for outsourcing agencies that place workers from overseas in U.S. companies to take advantage of loopholes in the current system.

Currently the standard wage for an H-1B worker is US $60,000, allowing such agencies to charge an employer, say, $80,000 to hire a developer for a project and in turn make a profit. By raising the wage to the bill’s suggested $135,000, the goal is to curb job outsourcing. Employers no longer would have the same incentive to hire non-U.S. workers if they had to pay them an equivalent, if not higher, salary. Regardless, IEEE-USA maintains that it is wrong to displace Americans at any wage rate.

WHO GETS HURT

The outsourcing companies that place H-1B workers pay them considerably less than U.S. workers in the same positions. Moreover, workers cannot petition for a green card on their own. Their employer, typically the outsourcing company, has to do it for them. And the companies almost never sponsor the workers for green cards, so it’s rare they become American citizens that way.

Alqarqaz’s post equates the H-1B visa with immigration, but that’s not the case. Visa holders are temporary guest workers. And although thousands of IEEE members have successfully received green cards while working in the country on an H-1B visa, it is not, in fact, a path to citizenship. At best, the visa is a waiting room for potential immigrants to sit in until a green card becomes available, if one does.

In many cases, in fact, H-1B visas are used as barriers to citizenship. Some companies, particularly outsourcing companies, use an H-1B visa specifically because it is not an immigration visa. Unlike green cards, the visa belongs to the company and not the worker. Workers can stay in the country exactly as long as their employers let them. But if the company chooses to take the visa back, the worker has to leave unless he can find another employer to sponsor his visa.

That dependency gives employers a tremendous amount of control over their workers—which in turn makes the workers easy to exploit. For some companies, that is the primary advantage of the visa. If a company decides that it doesn’t want a given worker to become a U.S. citizen, there isn’t really much the worker can do about it.

IN SUPPORT OF GREEN CARDS

Alqarqaz is correct to note how immensely valuable skilled immigrants are to our economy. Many are among the most productive, innovative, and entrepreneurial members of our society. But that is not an argument for more H-1B visas; it is an argument for more green cards.

H-1B workers rarely innovate, because they have no long-term stake in the company. And they rarely start businesses, because H-1B rules state that they can’t own a company in the United States. Green card holders often do both.

Alqarqaz successfully used an H-1B visa to live in America long enough to get a green card—which is wonderful. But the only reason an H-1B was necessary was that the United States doesn’t issue enough green cards every year. Employment-based immigration is limited to 140,000 people per year. We’re in favor of additional green cards to allow international students who are earning their master’s and Ph.D. degrees in the United States to get one within a year of graduating.

IEEE-USA is working with Congress to speed up access to green cards for skilled non-Americans so they can fully participate in growing our economy. IEEE-USA is lobbying to reform and restrict the H-1B program because work visas frequently get in the way of that goal. We believe most of the problems caused by H-1B visas can be fixed by issuing more green cards.

President Trump’s recent executive order to review and revamp the H-1B program is a step in the right direction. We look forward to working with the administration and Congress by reworking the visa lottery to end outsourcing, and to fix the prevailing wage to ensure all workers are paid what they’re worth.

America was built by immigrants, not temporary workers. The more we refocus our high-skill visa system on immigration and away from H-1Bs, the better.

This article was written by 2017 IEEE-USA President Karen Pederson, 2016 IEEE-USA President Pete Eckstein, and 2017 IEEE-USA President-Elect Candy Robinson.