IEEE Region 4 Newsletter - Summer 2019
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Message From the Director

Again, it is a pleasure and my honor to serve as the Director of IEEE Region 4 for 2019 and 2020.

Region 4 has recently implemented the following Executive Committee level changes since our March Newsletter:
  • Mohamad Berri: Awards and Recognition Committee Support Chair 
  • Jeff Buttermore: Assistant Treasurer
  • Dan Roesler: Region Vitality Coordinator  
  • Benjamin Strandskov: Student Activities Committee Chair  
  • Thassyo Pinto: Regional Student Representative
On June 8th we held our second 2019 Region Committee meeting, the meeting consisted of the following items:
  • vTools and OU Analytics training provided by MGA staff.  The training sessions were recorded, please let me know if you would like to have access to the recorded training sessions.
  • Mid-Year section activities review that were presented by our four Area Chairs with the goal of identifying were additional section assistance is needed for a successful 2019.
  • Presentation on the available 2019 Section, Chapter, and Affinity Groups Burndown charts:
I would like to encourage each of our members to get involved as your time allows. This can be anything from attending a section meeting to micro-volunteering at a local section event.  I want to take this opportunity to again thank all of our volunteers at the Region, Section, Chapter, and Affinity Group levels as IEEE is a volunteer-based organization.

If you have ideas that can help assist our current members and help to attract new members, I would enjoy hearing your thoughts and feedback.  Feel free to reach out to me at anytime.

Please also submit articles for future Region Newsletters, the next newsletter will come out in late November.  Examples of possible contributions include the following:
  • Upcoming section or region events
  • Report out of a recent successful event
  • Section award winners
  • Section or region activity updates
  • Success stories of membership recruitment  and/or retention
Newsletter contributions can be emailed to our Region 4 Secretary, Ashley Hochstedler (
David Koehler
Region News
Membership Development

Membership Develop Update
With total membership numbers continuing to decline, total membership is down 3.7% compared to 2.6% last month. Now is the time to continue to reach out to members who have not renewed.  Reinstatement numbers look good with 70 members coming back this past month, continue the focus.  Activities for your Section to help with membership include:
Recruitment Activities: Half-year dues period continue through June new members joining in this month pay half year price and are active members for the remainder of the year.
Retention Activities: Plan Ahead: start reaching out to your new members this year, who will be renewing for the first time in 2020, and thank them for their membership.
       Communication templates to assist in reaching members can be found at: 
MD Highlights
Congratulations to the Iowa-Illinois Section for meeting their recruitment and retention goals, they are one of only 19 Sections that have made their goals.
Congratulations to Missouri Slope and Northeast Michigan for making their retention goals.
Congratulations to Southern Minnesota for making their recruitment goal.
The numbers:
To see all the past Membership Development reports visit
Join our monthly Membership Development calls on the 4th Friday of the month at noon CST.
Join WebEx meeting: Meeting number: 594 732 911, Meeting password: R4mdmeet  
Join our monthly Membership Development calls on the #rd Monday of the month at 7:00 pm CST.  
Join WebEx meeting: Meeting number: 256 155 497, Meeting password: R4md  
Vickie Ozburn
IEEE Day 2019

IEEE Day Set for October 1

How would you feel if no one paid attention to your birthday?  Wouldn’t you feel just a little sad if your big day came and went and no one batted an eyelash?

IEEE Day, celebrated on the first Tuesday in October, is the commemoration of the day in 1884 when several representatives of the newly emerging “electrical industry” met in Philadelphia to realize a dream which was crafted earlier that year in New York City for professional organizations.  Their goal was not only to support the needs of member professionals in this new area, but to use the industry for the betterment of humanity.  Thus was born the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.  AIEE, composed predominantly of engineers from the power and telegraphy genre, saw the emerging medium of radio and later electronics represented by IRE, the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1912.  As the two societies found more and more areas of overlap, they agreed to merge and on January 1, 1963, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers was born.

Why celebrate IEEE’s birthday?  We celebrate the profession in general and IEEE in particular and want to share our accomplishments with the world.  As IEEE Day marks its tenth year, the theme is “Leveraging Technology for a Better Tomorrow”.  Using the past as a springboard into the future, IEEE promotes the interaction of IEEE members and their communities to create a better world.

There are as many ways to celebrate IEEE Day as there are chapters, sections, and student branches.  Some of the activities of previous years are memorialized at .  They range from competitions to presentations to dinners and everything in between.  Including students in these activities is strongly encouraged.  Organizational units can show their participation by registering their function at the IEEE Day website.  All reports items are shown on the world map.  Pictures of your activity can be posted to the website.  To qualify an event can be technical or non-technical, a single session or a series of sessions.  In short, anything which promotes IEEE and IEEE principles qualifies.

To encourage members to participate, there are contests for photos and videos, including a “Milestone Showcase” in which members create a video on an existing Milestone or something the member feels will be granted Milestone status within the next ten years.  Complete Instructions on the Milestone Showcase contest can be found at

Templates available to allow you to make up IEEE Day 2019 T-Shirts, Banners, and Posters.  They may be downloaded from .    Wearing IEEE Day Shirts is a great way to start a conversation on IEEE and the way we incorporate technology into our vision for a better tomorrow.

An IEEE Event is a great opportunity to vigorously recruit new members.  During the week of IEEE Day (September 29 – October 5) all new IEEE Professional members can receive a $30 discount on their first year membership with the coupon code IEEEDAY2019.  There is a coupon available for download which can be distributed at events available in the Toolkit.  As an encouragement for members to recruit new members, during the month of October, DOUBLE point will be awarded for both professional and student members.

IEEE Day Ambassadors are available to assist units with questions.  After reviewing the IEEE Day Website, members may apply to be local IEEE Day ambassadors and promote activities within their sections or societies.

Show your IEEE spirit by going to the website and learning how your organizational unit can participate, then start planning now.  Make this the bet birthday ever.
Calling All Region and Section Volunteers!

Thank you for being an IEEE member and a member of IEEE Region 4.  As a Member of IEEE you automatically become a member of your local IEEE Section, this allows you to share technical, professional, and personal interest with others in the worldwide member community of IEEE. 
Are you looking for a way to get more involved within your local IEEE Section or Region 4? If so, We want you!  Do you want to help guide programs or project ideas or maybe take part in a micro volunteering activity?  So you may ask what is micro volunteering. 

Micro Volunteering: Making a Difference in a Matter of Minutes. 
Micro-volunteering describes a volunteer, or team of volunteers, completing small tasks that make up a larger project.  These short, infrequent volunteer opportunities are often called “microvolunteering,” which allows people to volunteer for specific tasks that can be completed in a short window of time.  We want to make volunteering for IEEE fun and easy.
One of the objectives for Region 4 is to recruit and provide leadership and volunteering opportunities to our members. In order to accomplish this, we will send in regular intervals a Form to seek Volunteering and Leadership interest for our members.
Please let us know and we’ll be happy to help out and find a spot just for you.  We request you to please fill out the following form to express your interest:
Please also join the IEEE Region 4 Volunteers IEEE Collabratec Group, to stay connected.
Section News
Cedar Rapids IEEE Section

We have been competing with the many obligations that keep all our section members and especially our volunteers busy. We are building up to IEEE Day to celebrate our 75th Anniversary at the History Center in Cedar Rapids.

The Moon Talk celebrating Collins Radio Engineering contribution to the Apollo 8 space program occurred in early May. This will be followed up with the next segment created by the Arthur Collins Legacy Association ( on the actual landing on the moon with Apollo 11. More details on how the deep space network technology breakthroughs allowed the many sensor communications links in the newly created Unified S-Band to bring to Earth all of telemetry data, voice communications including live TV. We will have another IEEE event on this topic this fall.

ProCon 2019 had Cyber Security as its theme. We had speakers on both aspects of computer security audits and the overall cyber-attack environment as well as a track on personal goals in individual growth strengths. We continue to reach out for more industry involvement in both sponsorship and support useful topics they would send their employees too (buy-in). This recognizes the challenges for IEEE to compliment the industrial training provided within companies versus what IEEE can offer outside of the industrial internal complex.

Wireless Energy Efficiency from the MTT Distinguished Lecture series provided innovated ways to use passive sensors in the evolving 5-G communications environment.

Upcoming EMC, CVARC Ham Radio conference, IEEE Day and PES events

Regional Vitality Committee Activities for Region 4 have been involved with reviewing the Region 4 Sections burn down charts and participating in the IEEE RVC meeting led by Hossam Ali. The identified priorities are:
Training and Leadership Development
  1. Student engagement/Retention (transition between student and YP)
  2. Industry Engagement Activities
  3. Membership Development/Recruitment
  4. Member engagement
The emphasis has vectored toward membership training in addition to the volunteer training. There seems to be a widening gap between what members utilize or acknowledge in IEEE and what IEEE has to offer.

Our MDA chair has been tracking our Cedar Rapids section characteristics statistics. There are an average of 6 technical subscriptions per member. This indicates how diverse the interests are within IEEE technical societies and groups. The paradox and opportunity are how to vector events and activities that are in the hot zones of these interests.

Dan Roesler
IEEE Chicago Section Celebrates 125th Anniversary
Chicago, IL, May 29, 2019 – The Chicago Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) hosted a fair in recognition of the 125th anniversary of its first meeting that was held at the Armour Institute in 1894. The IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology, and the Chicago Section has the unique distinction of being the first section formed outside the New York headquarters of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE). In 1963 the AIEE and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) merged to form the IEEE. The fair was held on Saturday April 27, 2019 at the newly opened Kaplan Institute on the campus of Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) not far from the site of the first meeting. In 1940, Armour Institute and Lewis Institute merged to form IIT. The fair recognized the contributions made by Chicagoland electrical and electronics engineers while encouraging high-school students to pursue careers in science and engineering.
The Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship (Kaplan Institute) opened in the fall of 2018. This 70,000 sq.-ft LEED-Gold designated building is now the home of IIT’s Institute of Design, and the Interprofessional Projects Program (IPRO) where innovation teams collaborate on solving challenging issues facing society. The fair had access to the first floor including the Tellabs Innovation Alley used for the exhibit area, and the Victor Morgenstern Pitch used for informal short speaking opportunities. The reception desk, the John & Pat Anderson Café, maker space and idea shop where also available. Fifteen society chapters of the IEEE Chicago Section had tabletop or poster board displays that demonstrated the technologies they represented such as communications, computers, electromagnetic compatibility, industrial automation, power engineering, product safety, signal processing, vehicular electronics, and engineering management. Student chapter members offered tips on computer programming. Affiliate groups Women in Engineering, Chicago/Rockford Consultants’ Network, Life Members and Young Professionals were invited to display. The winning Interdisciplinary teams from IIT’s IPRO Day were invited to showcase their accomplishments. Engineers were on hand to explain their day-to-day activities, and to discuss career opportunities in their technical specialty.
Scheduled speakers covered both technical and professional topics, engineering history, educational opportunities, and issues facing our society. Poster board displays reflected technical accomplishments by Chicagoland engineers and the three Chicagoland milestones granted by the IEEE Board of Directors. Optional tours of the IIT campus were offered.
The IEEE Chicago Section recognized the generosity of IIT in the use of the new Kaplan Institute and for program participation. Additional sponsorships came from the Chicago Engineers’ Foundation (CEF) formed in 1903 to encourage and empower young people to become the next generation of engineers; and the Western Society of Engineers (WSE) who for over 100 years have conferred the Washington Award upon an engineer whose professional attainments have preeminently advanced the welfare of human kind. Donors included S&C Electric, UL, BMW Technology Corporation, Weldy-Lamont, Contemporary Controls, IEEE PACE, IEEE Life Members, and IEEE Region 4.
David Koehler, Region 4 director, presented Lisa Schoedel, Chicago Section chair, a plaque recognizing the Chicago Section’s 125th anniversary. David Bart, treasurer of the IEEE History Committee spoke on the “Origins of the Edison Medal” and was one of the exhibitors showcasing his extensive collection of IEEE artifacts.
High-school students, their families, IEEE members and non-members, IIT students, faculty and alumni attended including groups of students from the Union League Boys and Girls Clubs. Admission was free with visitors receiving IEEE bag and water bottle plus printed program. Approximately 150 adults and students attended the event. 
The catalysis for forming the Chicago Section was the favorable impression gained through a successful Columbian Exposition and the leadership of Chicagoland engineers, called “western engineers,” in petitioning what was then the AIEE to hold separate meetings outside New York. Professor Stine from the newly opened Armour Institute (1893), now IIT, offered his lecture room in the main building for holding the initial meetings. The IEEE Chicago Section returned to the same campus not far from the main building to hold an event that recognized past achievements of Chicago’s engineering community while looking towards the future of exciting technical innovation. Those who attended said it was a great event and would like to see it repeated.
For more information about the IEEE Chicago Section visit

 The 125th anniversary fair was held at the new Kaplan Institute on the campus of Illinois Tech.

A view from the top of “The Pitch” where informal presentations were made.

If it moved or sparked, students showed the most interest.

Lisa Schoedel, Chicago Section chair, receives plaque from Dave Koehler of Region 4.

David Bart of the IEEEE History Committee explains the origins of the Edison medal to an attendee.

Tabletop exhibits occupied the 9,000 sq.-ft Tellabs Innovation Alley

Visitors had an opportunity to learn about engineering and what engineers do.

The Kaplan Institute was the perfect venue for showcasing the IEEE Chicago Section.
University of Illinois-Chicago Student Branch Activities

MRDC Competition:
IEEE@UIC’s BLUE robot made it to the second round at U of I’s Midwestern Robotics Competition this March. This robotics team has only been active for 2 years and has made great progress! We are excited for next year’s competition and looking forward to seeing great improvement.

Throughout the school year, student members are encouraged to participate in several ongoing projects or begin their own. This year, some projects included an Arduino-controlled vertical farming project and an automatic cat-feeder. These projects allow students to practice project management, circuit design, coding, and other technical skills.

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, IEEE@UIC held workshops to help members develop their technical skills. This past year, workshops were focused on Printed Circuit Board design with EAGLE software and CAD design with SolidWorks. In addition, we introduced a 5-week long tinkering program where 10 UIC students and 10 Chicago college students learned about basic skills like soldering, circuitry, coding, and working with different microcontrollers.

For professional development, the UIC chapter tries its best to introduce members to different companies and careers in the field of technology. In collaboration with our ASME and SHPE chapters on campus, we had Molex and GE come in to speak on internship and co-op opportunities. In addition, we had a tour of the Chicago Google building and were given a presentation on what it’s like to work for Google by a senior software engineer.

Engineering Night
This April, UIC Chapter of IEEE hosted an Engineering Night at Veterans Memorial Middle School in Blue Island. With help and collaboration of the school’s active STEM club, 32 participants had the opportunity to learn about engineering principles and complete hand-on activities that addressed several engineering topics. The Engineering Night included a discussion on the different fields of engineering and the benefits of a completing a career in STEM. Activities included making the tallest tower possible with marshmallows and spaghetti, designing a paper circuit with graphite pencils to turn on an LED, and making a race car with craft materials! Parents and students were invited to participate, and it was a very successful event. IEEE@UIC is excited to continue the Chicago chapter’s mission of making STEM learning available for children regardless of race, gender, or income.
West Michigan Section & PES/PELS Chapter hosted NREL Interconnections Seams Study Presented by Southwest Power Pool (SPP)

The US electrical grid comprises three largely-separate grids with inadequate interconnections at the seams. These seams cross sparsely-populated rangeland in the middle of the country. The Eastern Inter­connection serves much of the United States east of the Great Plains while the Western Interconnection covers from the Great Plains to the Rockies and along the West Coast. Almost like safety pins holding together an elaborate wedding dress, no more than 1,300 megawatts of transmission capacity at a total of seven locations stitch all this together. Led by researchers at the U.S. Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a new interconnections seam study finds considerable econ­omic and engineering value in fortifying these connections to better distribute power resources around the country. The study results were initially presented in July, 2018 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Host: IEEE West Michigan Section & West Michigan PES/PELS Society Chapter

Presenter: Jay Caspary, Director – Research, Development & Tariff Services at Southwest Power Pool (SPP, Little Rock, Arkansas) and co-chair of the technical committee that reviewed the Interconnections Seam Study for the NREL.

A link to the presentation slides can be found here (; for more detailed information, please contact the presenter.

Upcoming Events
EVO 2019
IEEE WIE AI Summit Chicago 2019
WHAT: IEEE Women in Engineering AI Leadership Summit in Chicagoland
Join women leaders and innovators to learn about AI technologies, AI applications, how to build an AI solution, and to understand the ethical complication of AI.  Women and men are welcome to attend the event!

WHEN:   8:15 – 5pm, a reception to follow, 9/20/2019
WHERE: Nokia Auditorium, 2000 W. Lucent Lane, Naperville, IL 60563

Student Leadership Conference

More details here.
Global Humanitarian Technology Conference

The Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC) is the IEEE international flagship event for humanitarian and sustainable development activities with focus on advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. This conference has been held annually since 2009 with the location switching each year between Seattle, WA and San Jose, CA. In 2018, GHTC had 187 attendees representing 25 countries and 81 papers were presented.

Pritpal Singh from Villanova University presents the Smart Village project’s objective of providing electricity to off-the-grid communities at GHTC 2018. Representatives from numerous universities in developed areas talked about their institution’s on-going humanitarian projects that largely target communities in IEEE Regions 8 -10.

GHTC is a forum where participants from academia, for-profit and non-profit businesses, governmental and non-governmental organizations gather to present research, ideas, and other considerations for the creation and implementation of effective humanitarian technology.
The mission of Global Humanitarian Technology Conference is to:
  • Foster exchange of information, networking, and cooperation in the humanitarian and emergency management fields.
  • Focus attention on organizations which are enabling technologies in support of humanitarian principles and operations.
  • Provide a forum where practitioners with technology challenges find ideas or solutions to those challenges.
  • Impact in positive and meaningful ways lives of disadvantaged billions of people around the world.
  • Attract young people to these professional fields by exploring science, engineering and technology (STEM) solutions addressing problems of the world’s vulnerable communities.
While the deadline for paper submission has passed, it is still possible to register for and attend the 2019 conference held October 18-20 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport.  Focus areas include:
  • Agriculture & Food Security
  • Good Health and Well Being
  • Quality Education
  • Clean Water & Sanitation
  • Affordable & Clean Energy
  • Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness, Response & Recovery
  • Communication/Connectivity in Support of Development
  • Other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
The GHTC registration price is only $500 for IEEE members and just $275 for IEEE student and IEEE life members. Additionally, the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) offers a Conference Participation Program that provides a limited number of partial scholarships to support participation at select conferences having a sustainable development and humanitarian technology focus. These awards typically cover up to 50% of travel expenses with a maximum award of $750. Award priority is given to applicants with an accepted paper or who are contributing to a panel or facilitating a workshop. Each beneficiary of the IEEE HAC Conference Participation Program will be expected to provide IEEE HAC with a one-page report that describes the event, the contribution they made and the realized or expected benefits of their participation.

Bruce Howell, IEEE Region 4 Humanitarian Activities Coordinator
Do you want to keep up on the streaming events and recorded videos for Region 4 at IEEE?  Visit  to see the latest video happenings.
Do you have an idea for video recording an event at your location?  Contact Mike Fallenstein at for help on getting started with recording a meeting or event.
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