June 21st, 2017

This year the annual BBQ will be hosted by the WIE group on Wednesday, July 5th. This is a good opportunity to enjoy a summer evening outdoors and meet some new people from the section in a fun and relaxing setting. Food and drinks will be provided (burgers, hotdogs, drinks, etc.). Halal meat and Vegetarian options will be available if you choose the vegetarian when you register. There is a sand volleyball court next to the picnic site for anyone that wishes to play.

When: Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 6pm-9pm

Where: Assiniboine Part, picnic site 4

Registration: Registration is required in advance and is available at: The registration fee is $5.50 for IEEE members and $10.50 for non-members. Registration includes entry into a draw for a door prize.

For more information please email the event contact.

June 14th, 2017

Date: June 20, 2017

Time: 5:30-6:30 pm

Location: Room E2-399, Engineering & Information Technology Complex (EITC), University of Manitoba, Winnipeg MB

The proposed agenda for this meeting and the minutes from the previous meeting (May 16) are attached below:



We look forward to seeing you there!

May 23rd, 2017


In this Issue:




Meet our 2017 Executive


Chair: Ekram Hossain

Ekram Hossain is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. He is an IEEE Fellow and a Member (Class of 2016) of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of Victoria, Canada, in 2001.

Dr. Hossain’s current research interests include design, analysis, and optimization of wireless/mobile communications networks and cyber physical systems, and network economics. He serves as an Editor for IEEE Wireless Communications. Also, he is a member of the IEEE Press Editorial Board. Previously, he served as the Editor-in-Chief for the IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials from 2012-2016, an Area Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications in the area of “Resource Management and Multiple Access”’ from 2009-2011, an Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing from 2007-2012, and an Editor for the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications – Cognitive Radio Series from 2011-2014.

Dr. Hossain has won several research awards including the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC–Fall 2016) “Best Student Paper Award” as a co-author, University of Manitoba Merit Award in 2010, 2014, and 2015 (for Research and Scholarly Activities), the 2011 IEEE Communications Society Fred Ellersick Prize Paper Award, and the IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference 2012 (WCNC 2012) Best Paper Award. Dr. Hossain was a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Communications Society (2012-2015). Currently he is a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the province of Manitoba, Canada.


Vice-Chair: Steven Howell

Steven Howell received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 2010 and 2013 respectively and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Manitoba. Steven currently works at Manitoba Hydro as a Grid Supply Engineer in the System Planning Department responsible for performing system impact studies for prospective generation interconnections as well as performing integrated resource plans for future generation expansion. Additionally, he is a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba.

Steven has been a member of IEEE for 10 years and has served in various capacities in various affinity groups and has most recently served as Treasurer of the Winnipeg Section since 2015. Steven is a registered professional engineer in the Province of Manitoba.


Treasurer: Nuwan Perera

Nuwan Perera received the B.Sc. (Eng.) degree from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in 2003 and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from University of Manitoba in 2007 and 2012 respectively.He works at ERLPhase Power Technologies, Winnipeg and is responsible for designing protection/control solutions, leading power system studies, providing the technical specifications for development projects and providing technical support for the application & sales team.

Nuwan is an IEEE member for over 10 years. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Manitoba.


Secretary: Trevor Brown

Trevor Brown completed his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 2014 and 2016, the latter under the supervision of Dr. Puyan Mojabi and Dr. Ian Jeffrey. He recently began his Ph.D studies under the direction of Dr. Mojabi in September 2016.

Trevor is an IEEE Graduate student member, and has participated in a number of events including a beginner level Embedded Systems workshop, an IEEE GOLD LaTeX workshop, the IEEE Xtreme Programming competition, and various lectures sponsored by the IEEE Waves chapter.

Trevor has served as the Secretary of the Winnipeg Section since 2015. His vision for the Winnipeg Section is to focus on improving the balance between academic and industrial involvement by effectively communicating the numerous benefits of IEEE to both local professionals and the future professionals, students. To accomplish this he plans to increase member awareness of IEEE-related events and improve coordination with the Section website. He also plans to continue maintaining and distributing accurate Sections records and support the Chair and Vice-Chair with any initiatives they undertake.



Emerging Leader Award presented to Nasim Abdollahi


On March 16, 2017, Ms Nasim Abdollahi received the University of Manitoba Emerging Leader Award for her contributions as Chair of the IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Chapter. Since her appointment in 2016, Nasim has revitalized the chapter, increased participation, organized seminars, networking, and outreach events.

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes the outstanding contributions that students make to the social, cultural or economic well-being of communities on and/or off campus. Furthermore, students must demonstrate cross cultural understanding, sustained leadership, and initiative that is worthy of recognition.

Congratulations on behalf of the IEEE Winnipeg Section and we look forward to continuing to work with you to grow Winnipeg WIE activities.

For more information on the University of Manitoba Emerging Leader Award, please visit:



2017 Capstone Award Recipients


The IEEE Capstone Awards were handed out on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at the University of Manitoba. These awards recognize outstanding final year undergraduate projects through a certificate and a cash prize. The projects are selected by a panel of industry judges who evaluate the written reports, whether the group completed the goals of the project, and the technical complexity of the project. The award recipients for 2017 were:

IEEE Winnipeg Section Ted Glass Award

Students: Erik Johnson, Adam McAllister, Rajveersinh Raol, Pooja Raval, Mark Yacoub, and Qihuan Yang
Project: Implementation of a Quadcopter Flight Controller with Obstacle Avoidance and Navigation
Advisers: Dr. Ian Jeffrey and Dr. Dustin Isleifson

IEEE Winnipeg Section 1st Prize

Students: Rebecca Moffat, Rachel Peters, Paul Schellenberg, Ben White, and Isaac Wiebe
Project: The Design and Implementation of the MusicBot 5000
Advisers: Dr. Ian Jeffrey and Dr. Derek Oliver

IEEE Winnipeg Section 2nd Prize

Students: Roslyn Debacker, Marian Grocholski, Winston Grocholski, and Nathan Moschler
Project: HomeUnit: An Internet of Things Air Quality Monitor
Advisers: Dr. Ken Ferens

IEEE Winnipeg Section 3rd Prize

Students: Christian Chabikuli, Joshua Fast, Kurtis Gibson, Mark Kolynchuk, and Kristian Torres
Project: Design and Implementation of an Exercise Monitoring System using 3-D Wireless Skeleton Tracking
Advisers: Dr. Jun Cai

The IEEE Winnipeg Section will also like to thank the industry judges Stephen Dueck (Chair of the Capstone Awards), Owen Preston, Dawn Nedohin-Macek, and Jason Kuyp for all their efforts reviewing the reports.


Cyber Security Threats Seminar at the U of M


On December 19 2017, IEEE EduMan chapter at University of Manitoba, Winnipeg hosted a housefull seminar titled “Collaborative DDoS Defense and New IoT Threats”. Jem Berkes, an alumnus of the University of Manitoba and currently a research lead in a US based cyber security company Galois Inc. Portland Oregon, conducted the session and shared his current work to handle growing challenge of Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS). This talk had two parts; part 1 covered the current state of the art on DDoS attacks and how this apparently simple technique and tactic of threat actors is becoming a nightmare for security experts, and in part 2, DDoS threats specific to the domain of Internet of Things (IoT) were discussed.

More than 22 participants attended the seminar, including 7 IEEE members and the remaining were students, faculty and industry experts. Head of Manitoba Internet Exchange and members of local ISPs attended the event and the discussion extended for more than 2 hours. Jem has proposed a collaboration with Manitoba Internet Exchange to fight DDoS threats and received encouraging response. Further, Jem visited the cyber security research group working under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ken Ferens. Jem was given a tour of the malware sandbox developed by his research group, and he advised them on key security issues. This seminar was very successful, because not only students, professors, researchers and industrial experts participated in the event and shared their knowledge, but Jem’s advice is helping University of Manitoba graduate students in cyber security to steer their work towards industrial challenges.

For more information about the EduMan Chapter, contact:
Prof. Ken Ferens, Ph.D., P.Eng.



Robotics Highschool Outreach Workshop presented by Women In Engineering


The IEEE WIE Winnipeg Chapter presented a workshop on Robotic Simulation using the “Processing” software for high school students. Students were from different high schools in Winnipeg. The outreach day was organized by Winnipeg Girls In Gaming Group.

The afternoon session started by introducing IEEE and IEEE WIE. Then two videos from IEEE WIE TV Chanel were presented. The main part of the outreach was engaging students by offering the robot simulation workshop. During the workshop students became familiar with basics of programing while enjoying the robots they made.

This workshop was held at Tec Voc High School on March 6, 2017. Attendance was 40 people, including 3 IEEE Members.


For more information about Winnipeg’s WIE Chapter, contact:
Nasim Abdollahi
IEEE Winnipeg Women In Engineering Chapter



IEEE Canadian Foundation Scholarship Awarded to Kevin Lamothe


On January 17, 2017, Mr. Kevin Lamothe, Chair of the University of Manitoba IEEE Student Branch received the IEEE Canadian Foundation Scholarship recognizing his participation in educational programs within the organization. Kevin has been an active member of IEEE serving in various roles over the last few years. He lead major renovations of the IEEE McNaughton Learning Resource Centre, helped organized a number of workshops at the University of Manitoba, and collaborated on initiatives with the IEEE Red River College Student Branch.

The scholarship recognizes IEEE student members in their penultimate year who have been active in their branches for at least one year and taken on leadership roles. The award is intended to pay a major portion of the final year tuition fees and related academic expenses to encourage students who demonstrate commitment to the IEEE McNaughton Learning Resource Centre and related activities.

The Winnipeg Section is very proud of Kevin’s accomplishments.

For more information on the IEEE Canadian Foundation, please visit



Congratulations to IEEE Senior Members


The IEEE Winnipeg Section is honored to recognize the excellence of its valued members, especially when they have performed for a long time at a particularly high-quality level.

Congratulations to the following newly elevated IEEE Senior Members:

  • Dr. Nuwan Perera
  • Dr. Ali Banitalebi Dehkordi
  • Mr. Paul Forsyth

Do you know an outstanding IEEE member who is not yet an IEEE Senior Member? Do you feel that you are qualified for such recognition? If you are interested in becoming a Senior Member or nominating a fellow IEEE member please see for an application and for qualification requirements.

For questions and assistance with references, please contact:
Dario Schor
Membership Development Chair



Special thanks to all those who contributed to this edition of the IEEE Winnipeg Section Newsletter.

Contributions for future issues, along with feedback and suggestions can be sent to:

Brent Schellenberg
IEEE Winnipeg Section Newsletter Editor


May 11th, 2017
Event Title: Technical Seminar – A Probabilistic Theory of Deep Learning
Speaker: Dr. Richard Baraniuk
Date: Thursday May 18, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Room E3-262 , EITC, University of Manitoba, Fort Garry Campus
Abstract: A grand challenge in machine learning is the development of computational algorithms that match or outperform humans in perceptual inference tasks that are complicated by nuisance variation. For instance, visual object recognition involves the unknown object position, orientation, and scale in object recognition while speech recognition involves the unknown voice pronunciation, pitch, and speed. Recently, a new breed of deep learning algorithms have emerged for high-nuisance inference tasks that routinely yield pattern recognition systems with near- or super-human capabilities. But a fundamental question remains: Why do they work? Intuitions abound, but a coherent framework for understanding, analyzing, and synthesizing deep learning architectures has remained elusive. We answer this question by developing a new probabilistic framework for deep learning based on the Deep Rendering Model: a generative probabilistic model that explicitly captures latent nuisance variation. By relaxing the generative model to a discriminative one, we can recover two of the current leading deep learning systems, deep convolutional neural networks and random decision forests, providing insights into their successes and shortcomings, a principled route to their improvement, and new avenues for exploration.
Biography of the Speaker: Richard G. Baraniuk is the Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University.  He received the B.Sc. degree in 1987 from the University of Manitoba, the M.Sc. degree in 1988 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Ph.D. degree in 1992 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all in Electrical Engineering.  His research interests lie in  new theory, algorithms, and hardware for sensing, signal processing, and machine learning.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Inventors, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and IEEE.  He has received the DOD Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellow Award (National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow), the IEEE Signal Processing Society Technical Achievement Award, and the IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal.  He holds 28 US and 4 foreign patents that have been licensed to 2 companies.
Other information: The seminar is free and open to all who wish to attend. For more information please contact Dr. Jun Cai.
May 9th, 2017

Date: May 16, 2017

Time: 5:30-6:30 pm

Location: Room E2-399, Engineering & Information Technology Complex (EITC), University of Manitoba, Winnipeg MB

The proposed agenda for this meeting and the minutes from the previous meeting (April 18) are attached below:



We look forward to seeing you there!