IEEE HomeSearch IEEEShopWeb AccountContact IEEE

VMS E-Services


ExComm Minutes



Region 3

VA Central Section

Student Branches


Special Interest


VMS Calendar

Meeting Dates

Meet the Officers

Officer Duties

VMS Bylaws

» Local Activities
IEEE Virginia Mountain Section Home Page

spacer spacer

VMS Logo


Virginia Mountain Section of the IEEE Announcements

Meeting Announcement

October 2010 Meeting
Plant tour and catered dinner at
Cobham in Blacksburg

Ray Pengelly, Cree RF and Microwave Products
Research Triangle Park, NC

GaN HEMT Technical Status: Transistors and MMICs for Military and Commercial Systems
(click on the title above for a 6 MB pdf copy of the slides)

Gallium nitride high electron mobility transistors (GaN HEMTs) utilize a wide bandgap semiconductor capable of operating at high voltage and high power density at µ-wave and mm-wave frequencies.

Talk Outline: (click on the title above for a pdf copy of the slides)

  • GaN HEMT Structures
  • High Power Densities - Blessing or Curse?
  • Thermal Management - Modeling and Measurement
    • CW and Pulsed Device Operations
    • Self-Heating Large-Signal Models
  • Wideband General Purpose Amplifiers
  • Linear and Efficient Telecommunications Amplifiers
    • Doherty and Envelope Tracking Approaches
  • Packaging
    • Improvements to device structures and package materials
  • Device Reliability
  • Trends - Applications, Higher Frequencies and new devices


Ray Pengelly gained his BSc and MSc degrees from Southampton University, England in 1969 and 1973 respectively. Ray worked for the Plessey Company from 1969 to 1986. In 1986 Tachonics Corporation employed Ray, where he was Executive Director of Design for analog and microwave GaAs MMICs. He joined Compact Software in 1989 as Vice President of Marketing and Sales.

Starting in 1993, Raytheon Commercial Electronics employed Ray in a number of positions including MMIC Design and Product Development Manager and Director of Advanced Products and New Techniques.

Since August 1999, Ray has been employed by Cree Inc. He is presently responsible for the strategic business development of RF and wireless products and applications using GaN HEMT transistors and MMICs. Ray has written over 120 technical papers, 4 technical books, holds 13 patents, and is a Fellow of the IET and a senior member of the IEEE.

Meeting Details:
Thursday, October 21, 2010
6:00 PM   Cobham Plant Tour
7:00 PM  Dinner
8:00 PM  Talk
Cost: Members & Guests $10.00, Students $5.00

Important Notice: Foreign Nationals (any persons who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States) are welcome to attend but must provide their name and country of origin to John Dilley via e-mail at by October 12.

Continuing Education Credit Hours

The Virginia Mountain Section will award 1 continuing education credit hour to P.E.'s licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia who attend the presentation at the October meeting detailed above. For more information, contact Dave Livingston at


The section is in need of volunteers with fresh ideas to help it continue to provide high quality services to its membership. If you are willing to serve as a member of the executive committee, the newsletter editor, assist with the webpage, etc.; please come to our next executive committee meeting prior to the general meeting on October 21, 2010 at 5:30 PM. I will make a sign-up sheet available prior to the tour for those interested in serving the VMS.

Sample of Executive Committee Responsibilities


  • Conduct executive committee meetings
  • Conduct general meetings
  • Represent the section at regional meetings


  • Conduct technical portion of general meetings
  • Make arrangements for meeting venues
  • Fill-in for chair when necessary


  • Take minutes at executive committee meetings
  • Correspond with regional and national IEEE
  • Create and maintain the section budget
  • Take and make payments associated with section business
  • At-Large Members (4):
  • Plan section activities
  • Make decisions at executive committee meetings
  • Chair various committees

In Memoriam: Ira Jacobs

Ira Jacobs, a professor of electrical engineering and former interim department head at Virginia Tech died August 11, 2010 after a long battle with cancer. An expert in fiber optic telecommunications, Jacobs joined ECE in 1987 after a 32-year career at Bell Labs.

The VMS will be collecting donations to be forwarded to one of Ira's favorite charities in the name of the section. More information on how to contribute will be forthcoming.

An announcement by Scott Midkiff, Professor and Department Head at Virginia Tech, appears below.

It is with great sadness that I report that Ira Jacobs passed away this morning, August 11. Ira has battled colon cancer since 1992 with great strength and dignity.

The funeral will be this Friday in New Jersey. There will be a memorial service in Blacksburg at the Jewish Community Center on Sunday, September 5. I do not know further details, but will provide them when available. It is expected that an obituary will appear in tomorrow’s paper.

Ira received his BS from City College of New York in 1950 and his MS and PhD from Purdue in 1952 and 1955, respectively. After graduating from Purdue he joined Bell Labs and “retired” from Bell Labs in 1987. Educated as a physicist, Ira distinguished himself as an engineer. Perhaps his most notable accomplishment at Bell Labs was directing the development and trial deployments of AT&T’s initial fiber optic communication systems in the 1970s. Always humble, Ira once told me that his greatest accomplishment at Bell Labs was recruiting Bob Lucky to Bell Labs from Purdue.

Although he retired from Bell Labs in 1987, Ira certainly did not retire from professional pursuits. He joined our faculty that year as a Professor. Ira was valued as a researcher, as a teacher, and, especially, as an outstanding citizen of the department. He took on many assignments in the department, including a one-year term as interim department head. As one small example of his recent service, Ira contributed significantly to writing the self-study reports for our EE and CPE ABET program reviews in 2008. As recently as last year, while “retired” from Virginia Tech, Ira volunteered as a consulting member of the department’s Assessment Committee.

Ira was a Life Fellow of the IEEE and was particularly engaged in the IEEE Virginia Mountain Section, even while “retired.” I spoke at the IEEE VMS meeting in Roanoke this past March and it was a pleasure to see Ira there.

Ira was one of the wisest and fairest people that I ever met. Virginia Tech was fortunate to have him on its faculty and we were all fortunate to have him as a colleague. He was truly special and will be greatly missed. Please keep Irene and the rest of Ira’s family in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time for them.

Scott Midkiff

Complete obituary from VT ECE.

The Virginia Mountain Section (VMS) of the IEEE has been serving members in the Southwest corner of the Commonwealth of Virginia since 1949.

We currently have one active technical chapter representing three Technical Societies:

  • Computers, Control Systems, and Industrial Electronics

two Student Chapters in local universities and colleges:

  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Virginia Tech

and the VMS Consultants Network Affinity Group

The purpose of this Affinity Group is to share information concerning consulting opportunities, and to make a list of consultants and their areas of expertise available to potential employers.

Anyone wishing to be added to this group, or desiring more information should contact David Livingston,

Information about our Section, the Chapters, and material of interest to our members may be found by selecting items in the left column of this page.

spacer spacer
If you would like to contact the IEEE Webmaster, email to
© Copyright 2002-2010, IEEE.   Terms & Conditions.  Privacy & Security.
VMS web contact;
(last modified: October 25, 2010 )