Mile High Spark – August 2017 – Volume 8 Issue 3

View this newsletter on the web at: http://ieee-denver.org/mile-high-spark-august-2017-volume-8-issue-3/

August 2017
Volume 8 Issue 3
 
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Section Officers
Chair:
Treasurer:
Secretary:
Excom Meetings
3rd Tuesdays of the Month*
  • 6:00 pm: Supper and Networking
  • 6:30 pm: Excom meeting
Original Brooklyn’s
2644 West Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80204
 
*Except July & December
Recent
Excom 
Actions
  • Call for Nominations for Vice-Chair
  • Helping CU Boulder Student Branch revive
  • Assisting GRSS Chapter revive

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Open Positions

Some of the Standing Committees where we could use some great volunteers include:   

– Awards and Recognition
– Conferences
– Finance & Audit
– Government Relations
Industry Relations
– Professional Activities (PACE) 
– Programs & Events
– Public Relations and Publicity
– Section Student Activities
– Pre-College and Education Activities
– Strategic Planning
– Consultants Network
– Young Professionals 
Actually just about anything you can think of, we’re interested in talking to you! 

If you are interested in volunteering, please send email to  chair@ieee-denver.org. Positions will be open until filled.

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IEEE

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 Try Something New!
 Whether you are active in IEEE ExCom, are a chair of a technical society, or just a paying member, we thank you for being a part of something that we think is pretty great. If you want to get more involved, you know where to find us! And if you just want to enjoy the hard (and not-so-hard) work of our volunteers by attending our events we would love that even more! Take advantage of the monthly volunteering efforts we have put together for you. Try something new, meet some new people, and learn something new by listening to a distinguished lecturer. Oh, and thank you for being a reader of our newsletter!
  
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Editors:
Jeff Woodard
Ian Macmillan
New Denver Chapter: Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society
IEEE Denver has a new chapter for local members to participate in. They have already put on an exciting tech talk and are currently seeking new members.


The IEEE Denver Section AESS Chapter promotes, in the Denver area, activities related to Aerospace & Electronic Systems. Chapter meetings are open to the public. The first planned activity will be a Distinguished Lecturer talk at CU Boulder in September.

The AESS is the only professional society dealing with total integrated electronic systems and the enabling technologies.

FOI: “The field of interest shall be the organization, systems engineering, design, development, integration, and operation of complex systems for space, air, ocean, or ground environments. These systems include but are not limited to navigation, avionics, mobile electric power and electronics, radar, sonar, telemetry, law-enforcement, automatic test, simulators, and command and control.”

Chapter Chair: Nagaraj Shivamariah

Denver Chapter Website

Society Website

by Nagaraj Shivaramiah 

2018 Region 5 Director Election: Meet the Candidates
IEEE Region 5 is having an election for a new director. There are two candidates for the volunteer post. We have pulled a candidate summary from their websites and asked each candidate a few relevant questions. Each candidate is from the Denver Section, the IEEE Denver Section has a long history of providing senior executives in the IEEE. No matter how the election turns out, this tradition will continue this year!

Please remember to vote for the candidate of your choice.

 

Tim Weil

Tim Weil, R5 Director Candidate

 

Tim Weil (CISSP/CCSP, CISA, PMP) is a Network Project Manager with Alcohol Monitoring Systems in Littleton, CO.

Previously he worked for twenty-five years in the Washington DC area providing network engineering, program management and information security compliance for federal agencies and international companies. Since returning to Colorado in 2010 he has worked as an Information Security Manager for the US Antarctic Program and US Department of Interior. Recently he helped established an ISO 27001 line of business for Coalfire and has provided ISO 27001 consultancy services to commercial clients.  Tim remains actively involved in Information Security related research and enjoy mentoring to the next generation of IEEE Members.

Tim lives in Littleton, Colorado.

Campaign Website



Jim Look

Jim Look, R5 Director Candidate

 

I am running for Regional Director because I have the experience, leadership qualities and vision necessary to lead Region 5 forward. I will work diligently to enhance support for our Section volunteers, improve the member value proposition and build closer ties with the Region’s student branches.

I am uniquely qualified because I have served over 10 years on the Regional Executive Committee. I personally know the committee members, its operating philosophies, and especially its strengths and weaknesses.

My record shows that I can organize and lead volunteers at a variety of levels. I have high-level IEEE experience as IEEE-USA VP of Professional Activities and have been the Chair of an IEEE-MGA committee. At the local level I have held numerous positions within the IEEE Denver Section.

Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Campaign Website

 

Q&A with the candidates:

1. What change would you bring to the IEEE R5, if elected as Director?

TimRegion 5 has a well-established IEEE program that delivers education, conference, training, and many value-added services to our members.   In the area of industrial relations, we are behind the times.  As IEEE Region 5  director I will work to to develop  annual industry  forums  and  outreach  programs  to  build long-term alliances with employers and professional organizations.  With strong ties to industry, Region 5 can provide many career benefits to our members.

JimI have over ten years on the Region 5 executive committee. Thus, I understand its strengths and weaknesses. One area (among others) which requires considerable attention is the relationship with the numerous Student Branches.

Vigorous, active exchanges between the Student Branches, the associated Sections and the Region are essential to building strong, durable relations with the student members. The students are future members and leaders of the IEEE. We have historically had difficulties in maintaining contact with student branches due to the rapid turnover of students in the leadership positions. In addition, we need to promote the formation of new student branches at every eligible university.

I would reorganize the Region 5 Executive Committee to provide additional support for student activities.  The number of student activity coordinators would also be increased. This would increase interactions with Student Branches and improve the frequency and quality of contact with IEEE student  members.

2. What lesson would you bring from your past to help you lead IEEE R5?

Tim: Partnership  with  Industry  has  been  a  major  part  of  my  ten  years  of  active IEEE conference  and  section  development.   In 2014 I was recognized by IEEE-USA for my professional achievements in promoting the GLOBECOM, GREENTECH and R5 Annual Conferences.    Networking from the Region 5 chapters and sections to university and industry programs is a skill set I will bring to the job of Region 5 Director.  “If we make it fun, both members and industry will come.”

JimThe concept of personal integrity has been a core value my whole life. Honesty, integrity and transparency are absolutely necessary when leading a volunteer organization like the IEEE. Persons are willing to volunteer their time and effort only when they perceive that they are being treated with fairness and that their time and effort is being used only to advance the goals and objectives of their organization.

Integrity is especially relevant when dealing with the financial resources of the organization. Money must be spent wisely to accomplish the goals of the Region with transparency and accountability at every level.

3. Do you think younger professionals are more engaged or less engaged with IEEE? How will you improve IEEE’s engagement with this group?

Tim: Young professional in IEEE are the future of our industry.  They bring the technical skills, agility and innovation that drive our country’s industrial growth.  We must keep Region 5 young professional more engaged.   Our young professional members  are developing the  tools  for the next industrial revolution (eg  renewable energy,  data  analytics,  smart cities, cloud computing and medicine).  As R5 Director I will continue to promote leadership and career opportunities to our R5 young professional in support  of  IEEE’s  Future Directions  program  and mission  – Advancing  Technology for  Humanity.

JimWe must design activities and volunteer opportunities which are more closely aligned with the needs of the young professional (YP), yet consider the intense competition for their time. Today’s young professionals also have broad interests in humanitarian service projects.

It is commonly known that the vast majority of IEEE student members leave the IEEE in the years immediately after graduation. The reasons are numerous. This trend has not been reversed despite the best efforts of the organization. However, I believe that recent IEEE policy changes will tie the Sections more closely to their local Student Branches and reinforce the connection between young professionals and the IEEE.

Closer relations between the students and the local IEEE Section will help build long lasting relationships with the students after graduation, build the value proposition for membership and possibly increase career possibilities for the young professionals. Implementation of micro-volunteering programs will permit a YP to participate in small segments of a larger project while fitting the activity into an already full schedule. We can improve YP engagement by building strong relationships with the students through the Section-Student Branch connection, then reinforcing the relationship with activities and opportunities which resonate with the needs of the young professional.

by Jeff Woodard & Nagaraj Shivaramiah

Get Ready for IEEE Day
Attention IEEE members… IEEE Day is October 3rd

IEEE Day: Celebrating the first time in history when engineers worldwide and IEEE members gathered to share their technical ideas in 1884.

IEEE Day’s theme is: “Leveraging Technology for a Better Tomorrow”. While the world benefits from what’s newIEEE focuses on what’s next. IEEE Day 2017 is the 8th edition of the same and will be celebrated on 3rd October 2017.

Worldwide celebrations demonstrate the ways thousands of IEEE members in local communities join together to collaborate on ideas that leverage technology for a better tomorrow. We celebrate IEEE members!

The IEEE Day team is made up of student volunteers, young professionals, and staff. Together, they work to assure that this year’s celebration will be even bigger and more impressive than the last editions. The principle task of the IEEE Day team is to initiate, motivate, and coordinate events and efforts to celebrate this day worldwide.

In addition to a enjoyable time and empowering members to engineer the future and beyond, the team actively supports members and volunteers.

Do not hesitate; share your excitement, visions, and joy with engineers worldwide.

IEEE Day Website

by IEEE Day Volunteers   

Life Member Affinity Group Formed
The Life Member Affinity Group is newest group formed under IEEE Denver Section. The official approval of the petition was received on 5/15/2017.  Jim Sipes and Owen Herman led the effort to get this group set.  Look for more information as the LMAG gets up and running.

 

IEEE Denver Student Chapter – Colorado School of Mines
The IEEE Denver Executives are making a concerted effort to involve local student groups in the IEEE. We reached out to the Colorado School of Mines to get an update on their current activities and plans for the future.


Message from the Colorado School of Mines:

We are the Colorado School of Mines IEEE student branch and we are excited to start a new academic year.  Two of the main goals of our branch is advancing the knowledge, and fostering interest in electrical engineering, as well as educating and developing current electrical engineering students. We achieve these goals throughout campus by hosting events such as a Tesla Coil concert, circuits tutoring, resistor bingo, elementary school outreaches, and other events which produce an interest in electrical engineering. Another goal of our branch is to provide a medium for which academia and industry are linked. We create this link through our regular Friday Lunch and Learns which allow company representatives to talk to students about electrical engineering topics, giving them a better perspective on what an electrical engineering student can expect as they graduate and begin to work in industry. Another event that further connects our students with industry is our “Evening with Executives” which takes place after career day here at Mines and creates a casual setting for students to connect with people from various industries. Our branch is small with around 60 dues paying members but we are growing and looking to have another amazing year with the rest of the students at the Colorado School of Mines.

 

2017 Colorado School of Mines IEEE Student Chapter Officers

by Mason Wilie and Jeff Woodard 

Tech Talk Summary – Cognitive Radar: From Theory to Practice
Lecture by Kristine L. Bell, PhD

Hosted by the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society (AESS) and the Association of Old Crows

Thursday, August 3rd at University of Denver’s, Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, Dr. Kristine L. Bell, Senior Scientist at Metron, Inc. and expert in statistical signal processing and multi-target tracking, presented a lecture that drew in an audience of engineers, scientists and college students. Hosted by the new Denver Chapter of IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society (AESS) and the Association of Old Crows, it was Dr. Jason Fritz’s honor to introduce IEEE Fellow, Dr. Kristine Bell, Distinguished Speaker, technical author and co-author of various books, journals and conference papers.

Guiding her audience through the various definitions and specificities required in cognitive radar, Dr. Bell, gave examples and approaches to the research.  Humans are sequential and not as able to multi-task the various inputs that are available with many parallel data streams and processing systems of radar, thus the case for cognition.  Use of cognitive radar is a potential solution to achieve better actionable information of technical inputs, making human decisions more accurate by the utilization of parallel processing and precision that can be offered by advanced cognitive radar intelligent systems.  With real time data, additional modeling and simulation will hone needs and requirements for the Perception-Action Cycle (PAC), where sensor stimulation leads to a conversion to sensor response to perception leading to prediction for decision making. With data history and prediction models a Behavior Cortex emerges from the cognition models improving prediction and response time for decisions.

In summary, Dr. Bell’s lecture on Cognitive Radar, gave a broad overview to the case for radar cognition.  Through clearly defined terms, theoretical overview, approaches to experimentation, and mathematical analytics for optimization, users can make better decisions with more precise, actionable data.

Kristine Bell, PhD, giving a talk to Denver AESS members

Event Link

by Yvonne Gray

Upcoming Dine and Learn Events
Come join your fellow IEEE members and local engineers for a fun filled evening of appetizers, networking, and dinner, while we discover exciting new innovations in technology.   Once a month one of your local Denver IEEE Societies host the event and bring in a unique speaker related to their field to present.  This provides you, our members, with a unique opportunity to explore and learn about exciting new technologies being developed around you.  Early on in the evening you’ll also have ample opportunity to mingle with your fellow engineers and colleagues delving into a broad range of technical expertise.

Events are held the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 6:00pm to 9:00. We’ll be providing plenty of delicious appetizers to accompany the networking hour, but dinner is on your own dime before we settle into the evening’s presentation.  If you’re an IEEE student member, just let us know and your dinner is on us.  Watch for our upcoming e-mails with details about each event and locations.   

We’ve already hosted many of these successful events the past few years and are scheduled for the remainder of the year, but we are actively looking for speakers for the 2018 series, so please contact us if you have an exciting topic to talk about.  Browse the list and don’t hesitated to contact us with any questions. We hope to see you there!

Lanbing Shan organizes the Dine and Learn events.

Dine and Learn Event Schedule

September 12th, 2017: DSP For Music Composition (John Drumheller, SPS)

October 10th, 2017: DSP in FPGA (David Farell, SPS)

November 14th, 2017: Small Satellites: Technology challenges and Prospects for Improved Weather Forecasting (Al Gasiewski)

 

 by Ian Macmillan

August Dine and Learn: Emerging Wireless Ecosystems
After skipping July, we had a great Dine and Learn on August 8th. Ernest Worthman, of Worthman & Associates, gave a talk on the emerging wireless ecosystems. Topics that were discussed include:

  • 5G
  • The Internet of Everything/Everyone (IoX) – or IoT as most know it.
  • Licensed and unlicensed frequencies and platforms.
  • mmWaves and their applications, issues and implications in the next wireless evolution.
  • Emerging platforms such as Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function   Virtualization (NFV), applications and
  • Edge dynamics in wireless networks.
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Smart “X”

The presentation was not a technical deep dive, it was a higher level overview of those topics with a few deep dives based on audience questions.

The audience came away with an understanding of what the next iteration of wireless will look like as we enter the next decade and a reasonable understanding of the girth of the emerging wireless world.

Ernest Worthman:

Currently, Ernest Worthman is the Executive Editor of Applied Wireless Technology and AGL Small Cell Magazines. In addition, he is also the principal of Worthman & Associates. His clients include Agilent Technologies, RF Industries, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Advanced Linear Devices, and others for which he does technical writing.

Ernest has over 25 years of experience in high-tech print and online publishing as an Editorial Director, Technical Editor and high-tech writer.

He has held several editorial positions across a number of high-tech publications including: Semiconductor Engineering’s cybersecurity and Internet of Everything/Everyone (IoX) channels, Editor of RF Design, Editorial director or Reed’s Wireless group which included Wireless Design and Development and Fiber Optic Technology and several other editorial positions.

In addition to his experience across a number of high-tech platforms, he owns a consulting practice which, among other things, developed edge-of-the envelope training courses for computer software/hardware and OSs.

He holds an AAS in digital technology and a BSEET from Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is a life member of the IEEE and presently applying for senior member status. His full profile is available on LinkedIn.

Ernest Worthman

 

 

 

 

by Jeff Woodard

Startup Weekend Denver | IoT 3.0 and Smart Cities
 
IEEE Denver sponsored the Startup Weekend Denver focused on IoT business ideas. The event was a blast for everyone, I got to participate and our team placed second. Winning teams took home DIY drone kits, gift cards to law services for forming new businesses, and memberships to hackerspaces like Boulder’s Solid State Depot. More importantly, they took home valuable skills, new friends, and new business partners. Participants pitched a wide range of ideas that varied from neural networks for traffic lights to body scan-based personalized online shopping. The goal of the weekend was to teach budding entrepreneurs how to turn product ideas into businesses. We learned what topics are important to cover in a pitch, how to handle tough questions from potential investors, and how to determine the viability of products in the market.
 
Startup Weekend is coming back to Denver in 2018.
 

Startup Weekend: The Pitch

Have you ever seen a new product, app, or business and thought to yourself, “that was my idea a few years ago”? If you have, that means you did not have a process for taking that idea from concept to creation.

Startup Weekend is your chance to learn how to take any idea from concept to creation within a matter of days! Whether you are looking to… get introduced to the world of startups and entrepreneurship, learn the process for going from concept to creation, meet experienced, talented, and passionate entrepreneurs in Denver, join or build an all-star team, learn and practice new skills to take back to your job, or take your own idea from concept to creation.

Who is Startup Weekend For?

It doesn’t matter what you do or where you come from, Startup Weekend is designed as an inclusive event and program that brings all sorts of people together including… aspiring & experienced entrepreneurs, developers and other tech-related professionals, designers of all types, non-technical talent (i.e. business, sales, finance, legal, etc.), students from universities and even high schools, professionals looking to switch careers or build new skills, passionate visionaries, and many more! 

The winning team, Savant, consisted of Juan and Rolando. They developed a product that measured the amount and rate of consumption of various consumer packaged goods. Juan stated that, “At the moment we are evaluating the idea and meeting with different parties to measure interest and potential partners.”
 
The second place team, Spot Tags, developed new pet tracker device utilizing a new, low power cellular based communication technology. Spot Tags founders included Jeff, Sebastian, Michael, Cat, and Bryan. Due to new market changes, they decided not to continue with their product.
 
Coming in third was AlkyHaul. That team included Chris, Cara and Wil. Wil recently shared that, “Our company, AlkyHaul, was formed during Startup Weekend with the intention of exploring alcohol sensors for the homebrew and microbrew industry.  The numbers looked extremely promising, so we went ahead with the project.  Parts were ordered, and a crude breadboard prototype was built, to confirm that the device would actually work as intended.  Now, 13 weeks after the Startup Weekend, we have a true alpha prototype working, and we are in the process of calibrating it, designing an attractive housing, and developing a crowdfunding pitch.  Cash and time outlays will remain fairly low, and yet, if all goes as planned, we expect to generate meaningful revenue in 2018.  Wish us luck!”
 
Urban Hive Mind was an honorable mention startup that included Chris, Mathew, Zi and Sushma. Their project consisted of a machine learning, sensor based system to better time traffic lights to more accurately predict and adjust to traffic demands. Unfortunately the project did not continue after the weekend. However, Chris recently shared that, “Startup weekend was a great chance to try new ideas in a fresh area with a brand new team. It helped us explore and develop a new concept that leveraged the expert coaching made available by the event organizers and the unique skills of everyone on the team. It also provided invaluable experience related to idea formation, idea development, and idea pitching to those team members looking to create their own companies in the future.”
 
In addition to the eight competing teams, two PhD students from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Vic and Jessica, attended the event to observe the dynamics of newly formed groups and how they work together.
 
Overall, Startup Weekend Denver, IoT and Smart Cities was a great event for all involved. We look forward to the next one.
 
IoT Startup Weekend 2017 Participants
 

by Ryan Diebel and Jeff Woodard

Congressional Visits Day
 The IEEE Denver Section’s former treasurer Jeff Hardy was invited by IEEE-USA to represent Denver for Congressional Visits Day 2017, part of STEM on the hill.

The goal of his visit was to express IEEE-USAs goals for the 2018 budget and connect with members of our congress.

IEEE-UAS asked Congress to:

  • Support Basic & Fundamental Research
  • Support the NSF and NIST
    • 4% increase per Gardner/Peters Letter
  • DOE Office of Science
    • Not just renewables, nuclear!
  • High-Skill Immigration
    • Reject 60K, ban outsourcing, increase green cards
  • Infrastructure
    • Include energy, information, and research infrastructure

Highlights from Jeff’s trip:

  • Met other IEEE representatives nationwide
  • Met IEEE USA support staff who can help the Denver section
  • Attended a STEM mixer
  • Met Senator Gardner (CO) for an IEEE USA Award
  • Spoke with Senator Gardner’s Legislative Assistant
  • Spoke with Senator Bennet’s (CO) Legislative Council
  • Attended Ohio talks with Randy Moses
  • Spoke with Congresswoman DeGette’s Legislative Council

Job Postings
 

Technical Co-Founder – CTO position wanted:
Building Brains
Building Brains is an early stage, smart home startup located in Boulder, Colorado. Our initial devices in development are modular and upgradable electrical outlets, light switches and faceplates. We are looking primarily for a technical co-founder, whose position might turn into a CTO type of role. To be clear, we are currently a bootstrapped and pre-funded startup. Therefore this position will start out without a salary, but with a fair share of equity. Founder and team dynamics and of the utmost importance. It is more important that we work well together and develop similar goals than just having someone with the needed technical skills. If you think that you might be interested in learning more about this opportunity, then please send us a short cover letter and updated résumé to:
To include your job posts in upcoming newsletters and reach skilled IEEE members, please submit your job posting to chair@ieee-denver.org.
Upcoming Events
September 12 Knowledge Based Radar: Advanced Sensor Concepts, Exploitation, Signal Processing and Systems Engineering
September 21st IEEE Denver Section PES.IAS Third Annual Golf Tournament
The IEEE Denver Section is comprised of over 3600 engineers and technical professionals in the Denver – Boulder area.
 
Mission Statement
Enrich the professional and personal lives of the Rocky Mountain Region members, developing them into valued contributors to society through quality programs, continuing education, career development and community service; in collaboration with IEEE, industry, government and academia.
 
 
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