Past Meetings










2000 Meetings
Delaware Bay Section

December 12, 2000
Should I Use 24VDC or 120VAC For Control Applications?
Speaker: Craig M. Wellman, PE; DuPont Corporate Electrical Consultant
Location: Del Tech Stanton Campus, Churchman's Road 

Today's engineers are faced with an ever-increasing number of choices in the design of industrial control systems. The selection of control voltage, while often perceived as a simple decision, has potentially the largest impact on the design and overall success of a system. This presentation focuses on the comparison of application issues for two frequently used control schemes: 24VDC and 120VAC. Topics such as safety, device functionality, system design and wiring methods, reliability, and cost will be explored to identify important considerations in the selection process.

September 11, 2000
Computer Architecture of the Future
Speaker: Eric Kronstadt, Director, VLSI Systems, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY
Location: Rollins Atrium Conference Room, Jones Building, Goldey Beacom College

The key challenges for microprocessors and the systems they fuel will be to evolve architecturally to sustain the historical performance growth rates of doubling every eighteen to twenty-four months, to meet the requirements for new functional paradigms for computing systems, and to provide performance and function within ever constrained cost and power budgets. In the process of meeting these challenges, it is likely that some interesting new directions in the evolution of microprocessors will emerge. We will discuss some of the general trends in microprocessor architecture and design, as well as in system structures, and discuss how some of these challenges might be met.

July 12, 2000
Tour: Astropower

We had an informative tour of Astropower's Pencader site.

May 9, 2000
Tour: Conectiv
Location: Intersection of Route 273 and Eagle Run Road

Ken Gates, who works for Conectiv, arranged for us to tour the Conectiv Power Grid Control Center. The tour occurred after a light dinner at 6:00 pm at the Conectiv Building.

April 18, 2000
UD Student Paper Competition

Undergraduate EE students were invited to present an Electrical Engineering topic of their choice at the IEEE meeting on April 18. Our intent is for students to provide a "corporate presentation."


  • $250 First Prize
  • $150 Second Prize
  • $100 Third Prize

Presentation Requirements:

  • Presentation must be 10 minutes or less; 5 additional minutes allowed for questions.
  • Visual aids must be overhead transparencies unless otherwise requested by the speaker.
  • Note: A written paper is NOT required for this presentation.

Presentations were judged by a panel of Bay Section members. Judging was based on content of the presentation, with consideration given to smoothness of presentation and quality of visual aids.

This was the third annual event. In the informal discussion following the competition last year, it was clear that May was not the best time for this competition, so we scheduled it earlier in the Spring this year.

The three prize winners at this year's competition:

  • First prize went to Mark Butala for his presentation on "An Introduction to Parallel Computation, Clustering, and EARTH (Efficient Architecture for Running Threads)".
  • Second prize went to Oluwafemi Ogunsola for his talk on "3D Through-Wafer Fan-Out Optical Interconnects".
  • Third prize went to Sandro Di Giacomo for his presentation on "Si-based Resonant Interband Tunneling Diodes (RITDs) for Mixed Signal Applications and High Speed, Low Power Memory".

Congratulations to all three winners!

March 14, 2000
"The Last Mile" of High Speed Internet Access
What are the competing technologies?
How quickly are they becoming available?
Speakers: Narisa Chu, PhD and Michael James

Location: Del Tech Stanton Campus, Churchman's Road 

We had a very informative evening at Del Tech. Two informative speakers provided us with perspective on the competing technologies to provide broadband access: first, industry expert Narisa Chu, PhD, described the competing technologies; then Michael James followed with his perspective as an internet service provider.

Special Offer for IEEE members: After the meeting, several people asked Dr. Chu how they could buy the set-top web browser box that she demonstrated (it adds web browsing capability to a TV set - similar to WebTV). Although Webvision is usually sold only through ISP's, Dr. Chu has offered to sell it directly to IEEE members for $150. If you are interested in purchasing one (or more) for a relative, please contact Dr. Chu directly at Info about the box is on her company's website at

Dr. Narisa Chu has been in the telecommunications business for the last 22 years starting from Bell Laboratories in 1978. She has been involved in computer and communication research, development, operations, with particular strength in strategic engineering and new technology introduction for business realization. She has worked on Digital Cable, Broadband Wireless Access, Smart Cards, Cellular Voice and Data Networks, High-speed Transmission, Network Management, Local Area Networks and Class 4 and 5 Digital Switching.

Dr. Chu was President of IEEE Communications Chapter in Chicago in 1980. She chaired EIA Standards Group on PBX-Computer Interworking in 1986 and CDMA Development Group Smart Card Team in 1995. She was a founding member of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) Wireless Intelligent Network (WIN) Task Group in 1996. Currently, she is the editor for Service Information Transport Protocol under the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers. She has worked with universities and industrial consortiums to bring new telecommunications technology into revenue-generation business. She has 30 published papers and chaired many sessions in Communications related Conferences and Symposiums.

Dr. Chu is the Founder and President of C&W Systems, LTD., in addition to past management positions in Rockwell International, Tellabs International and Comcast Cellular.

Dr. Chu received her B.S. from Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, M.S. from Iowa State University and Ph.D. from Northwestern University, in 1972, 1973, and 1977, respectively, major in Nuclear Engineering.

Michael S. James is founder and principal consultant of XICOM NetWorks, Inc., a facilities-based ISP located in Newark, DE. Michael studied physics and mathematics at Morehouse College and earned a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia in 1986. Michael has over 12 years of mechanical engineering experience in R&D and manufacturing at Hewlett-Packard Co. Little Falls Site, Wilmington, DE; now a part of Agilent Technologies, Inc.

While at HP, Michael developed an intimate knowledge in the design and mass production of chemical analytical instruments and laboratory automation products such as gas chromatography, automated sample prep instrumentation and robotics. Two United States patents were issued to HP where Michael was principal inventor (#5,142,875 & #5,286,652).

About three years prior to leaving HP in November 1996, Michael's interests significantly shifted from the world of computer aided design and engineering to the world of systems networks after installing the Linux operating system on a home PC in December of 1993. XICOM's business strategy is to provide dedicated single-point-of-management services, integrated Internet and information technology services, voice and network security services. XICOM will be a tenant of the Delaware Technology Park, Newark, DE in Q2 2000.