IEEE Attended Student Leadership Conference in Wisconsin

IEEE Attended Student Leadership Conference in Wisconsin

Mar 3, 2015. | By: Vijai Baskar

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) held their Region 4 Student Leadership Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from Friday, February 6 to Sunday, February 8. Eight members from the IEEE student chapter at IIT, as well as students from other institutions in the region attended the conference. IEEE Region 4 covers student and professional members in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, within the United States, and also the Windsor area in Canada. Of these regions, the attendees comprised of student branches from 17 universities. The attendees were taken on a company tour to Epic systems, a health care software company headquartered in Verona, Wisconsin, where they were shown how the company works and their culture and ethics. This was followed by a session on the Student Transition and Elevation Program (STEP) by Diana Vasquez. Vasquez mentioned that the STEP program is a platform for students to get access to the opportunities and benefits of an IEEE membership to transform into a professional. Russell T. Harrison, IEEE-USA Director of Government Relations gave the keynote address to begin the second day with information about the conference and the efforts that were taken to make it possible. This was followed by two breakout sessions with two speakers each. The speakers of the first session spoke about robotics and its use in drones and demonstrated the quadcopter that students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison built. The second breakout session was on two topics, one on 3-D printing and the other on Angular JavaScript.

Steven James, Engineering Manager at UTC Aerospace Systems, conducted the following session on leadership training. He focused on how being a member at IEEE brings out the leader in each person by involving them in and exposing them to the changing scenarios in the engineering industry. He encouraged students to participate in future conferences and also technical events hosted by IEEE as it is a great platform for students to communicate with the industry and its pioneers.

In addition to the seminars and speaking sessions, there were a number of competitions that took place as part of this conference. These competitions included Maze solving (a popular robotics competition), Brown Bag (circuit design competition), ethics competition, and project showcase competition. The team participating in the Maze solving competition won the second place. The team comprised of Sharath Ramesh and Kecheng Liu, electrical and computer engineering (ECE) graduate students. Sankesh Jain, Vijai Baskar, and Ambika Abinav participated in the ethics competition where they had to arrive at a solution for an ethical dilemma situation.

The evening dinner had an excellent keynote speaker, Joe Kann. He is the Vice President of Global Business Development for Rockwell Automation, a global market leader in industrial automation products and solutions. He leads the company’s strategy development processes and is responsible for managing strategic partnering programs and supporting acquisitions. Kann has over 30 years of experience in industrial automation and manufacturing technologies. This session was followed by an awards function where students who won prizes, as well as the organizers of the event were felicitated.

The conference was a great learning experience for all participants.

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