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IEEE Region 3, Council 9, Section 6 
 October, 1998
October Meeting			1
Reservations for the Meeting	2
VMS Activities
	September Meeting	3
	Section Awards		4
WEB Page URL Change		5
1999 Student Competition		6
New VMS Members		7
IEEE Computer Society Award	8
Sections Congress '99		10
Pilot IEEE Course on WEB	11
AISE Seminar			12
1998-99 VMS Schedule		13
Your IEEE Benefits		14
Virginia Mountain Section 	15

October Meeting

Data VS Information
A New Battleground In Automation

Dr. Kami Razvan

Durability Corporation 

In industry, business, and private 
organizations, there appears to be great 
confusion about "information" as 
opposed to "data". People have a lot of 
data and are wasting a lot of time and 
resources by not utilizing the latest 
technologies available to derive and 
disseminate information from it. The 
advent of Internet and corporate 
Intranets can permit all companies to 
make a quantum leap in allowing group 
interactions and sharing of 
"information". Too much data is sitting 
at everyone's desktops and too many 
people are doing the same thing over 
and over again. Why?

Durability Corporation recently 
developed an enterprise laboratory 
information system for White Oak 
Semiconductors in Sandston, VA. Dr. 
Razvan will present a case history 
involving a computer workstation to 
control 16 environmental chambers and 
relay "information" to desktops 
anywhere in the facility. He will present 
the project in the context of what he 
believes to be a serious industry 
problem: Data versus Information.

Near the close of the talk there will be a
general statement about the Year 2000
About the speaker
Kami Razvan holds a Ph.D. in 
Engineering Science & Mechanics from 
Virginia Tech.

His company, Durability, Inc., was 
founded in 1993 with a grant from 
Department of Energy to commercialize 
knowledge gained in his doctoral work. 
The company started with the idea of 
bringing to the market place a mobile 
high speed dynamic characterization 
platform for detecting "damage" in 
composite materials. Back then, it was 
strictly a materials company with 
emphasis on Advanced Composite 
materials and structures. Today's 
Durability is a lot more! In five years it 
has expanded to provide a wide array of 
services and products.

Durability's scientific and engineering 
personnel now provide solutions 
ranging from turn-key design of 
automated high performance dynamic 
materials test systems, to 
enterprise/laboratory automation 
solutions, to large scale Supercritical 
Fluid Extraction instrument design and 

Reservations for the October Meeting
Date: Thursday, October 15 1998
Social hour: 	6:30 PM
Dinner:		7:00 PM
Speaker:	8:00 PM
Place:	Custom Catering
	902 Patrick Henry Drive
Directions: From I-81 Exit 118 follow 
directions to Blacksburg center where 
South Main becomes North Main. (Just 
past Town Hall on left - modern flat 
white statues on lawn). Continue north 
on North Main through three traffic 
lights, not counting the one at So/No 
Main juncture. Turn left on Patrick 
Henry Drive at fourth light. Custom 
Catering is one block down, on the 

Members:	$12.00
Students:	$ 4.00
Guests:		$12.00

Please make reservations by 
Monday, Oct. 12,  5:00 P.M.

David Livingston		(540) 857-6261
Ira Jacobs		(540) 231-5620
Ed Wheeler 		(540) 464-7548
Radford and Christiansburg:
Russell Churchill		(540) 731-0655

VMS Activities

Meeting Report

Last month, members from the Blue 
Ridge Section of the American 
Chemical Society and the Virginia 
Mountain Section of IEEE conducted 
their first joint meeting.  Joint meetings 
are an effective way to learn about 
current activity in allied fields.  This 
was certainly the case here.  Please let 
your section leaders know if you agree 
that additional joint meetings should 
be held in the future.

For this first joint meeting, we were 
fortunate to have Dr. William H. 
Velander, a professor of chemical 
engineering at Virginia Tech, speak on 
the use of transgenic livestock to 
produce complex human medicines.  
This area promises to significantly 
impact human health.

Dr. Velander began by focusing on the 
human proteins required to treat 
hemophilia.  He contrasted the present 
method of gathering these proteins, 
complex industrial processes, with the 
method used with, say, a transgenic pig.  
The striking differences are, according 
to Dr. Velander, safety and cost.  
Presently we start with enormous 
quantities of human blood—sometimes 
millions of liters—to obtain a liter of 
serum with a few milliliters of the 
protein.  This fact makes the process 
both costly and a hazard to human 
health.  In the patient suffering from 
hemophilia receives regular preventive 
treatment, the present cost is around 
$100,000 per year—a level which 
exceeds the ability of most to pay.  
Extracting the serum from such a large 
volume of human blood also raises the 
specter that the serum might contain 
human pathogens, perhaps hepatitis or 
HIV.  Dr. Velander predicts that, by 
using transgenic livestock, we can 
reduce the costs by at least a factor of 
40, and significantly reduce the risk to 
human health.

Dr. Velander detailed just a few of the 
applications of his group's research in 
these proteins.  By permeating the 
transgenically derived clotting factors 
with antibiotics, doctors would be able 
to place antibiotics at the trauma site.  
What is more, the antibiotic would 
naturally remain at the site throughout 
the healing process.   Other variations 
would be to deliver chemotherapy or 
radiation treatment to the extraction site 
after tumor surgery.  This could be 
accomplished by permeating the clotting 
factors with these substances. 
Chemotherapy or radiation could be 
made perhaps much more effective here 
since, being tied to the clotting factors, 
they will be preferentially delivered to 
the tumor site and can thus be made 
more potent than possible when treating 
the entire body.

Some of the techniques and processes 
pioneered here will be commercialized, 
with some companies locating plants in 
our region. 

...Ed Wheeler

Section Presents Awards

Russell Churchill, Ira Jacobs and Usha 
Varshney were recently presented 
plaques for outstanding service to the 

Russell and Ira were recognized for 
their efforts leading to the success of the 
Southeastcon 97 convention. Usha, who 
is now in the Washington DC area, 
received the award for her pace-setting 
work as Vice Chair during the 1996 - 
1997 Section year.

It is appropriate that the Section 
continually demonstrate its appreciation 
of the efforts of the volunteers who keep 
it functioning and provide specific 
acknowledgment for exemplary service. 
Congratulations to all three.


WEB Page URL Change

The reported "change" to the URL for 
the VMS Home Page in last month's 
issue was obviously incorrect.

The pending change is from:




As mentioned, the elimination of the old 
URL is not a certainty but it is 
advisable to switch your bookmarks to 
the new one.

The Page has been completely 
redesigned for easier use and greater 
coverage.  As well as Section news, 
announcements and information, current 
and past issues of IEEE USA, PACE 
reports, The Leadership Wire, Quick 
Links to all IEEE Services and more, 
have been added. Visit us soon and see 
what's available.

Your suggestions for changes or 
additions are welcome

1999 Student Competition
Format - Prizes

Plans for this season's VMS Student 
Competition beginning to crystallize.

According to competition Chair, John 
Bay, the contest will include a poster 
session to be held on the Virginia Tech 
campus on April 15, 1999. Total cash 
prizes of up to $750 
will be awarded.

A student application form is being 
prepared and will be distributed to all 
institutions. It should be submitted, 
along with a 200-word abstract by Feb. 
1, 1999. Students should also plan to 
submit a short paper/extended abstract 
(1-2 pages) along with the presentation 
of their poster.   

We will get the word out later on the 
exact time and place of the poster 

Keep In Touch

New VMS members


Over this past summer, 16 IEEE 
members have joined the roster of 
the Virginia Mountain Section. All 
have received welcome letters from 
Dave Livingston describing VMS 
activities. We hope to see and meet 
all of you at future meetings and join 
Dave in extending greetings to:

James Baker		Steven Balentine
Blacksburg		Wytheville

Randall Burrier		Laure  Chipman
Shawsville		Salem

John Critchfield		Jeremy Crossen
Blacksburg		Blacksburg

Fletcher Hinson		Matthias Imhof
Christiansburg		Blacksburg

Clovis Linkous		Daniel Pearson
Blacksburg		Roanoke

Barry Polakowski	Sanjay Raman
Blacksburg		Blacksburg

Binoy Ravindran		Mohammed Saleh
Blacksburg		Roanoke

Ramona Stetson		Seng Tan
Roanoke			Roanoke

IEEE Computer Society Award
I. Jack Good

On October 15, I. Jack Good, 
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, 
Department of Statistics, will receive 
the 1997 IEEE Computer Society 
Award for his contributions to  
mechanical code breaking activities at 
Bletchley Park, UK, during World War 
II, and to the early Manchester 

The presentation will be made by Dr. 
Barry Johnson, President, IEEE 
Computer Society, 1997.  Following the 
presentation Dr. Good will give a short 
talk on his experiences.

Location:  113 McBryde Hall, Virginia 
Contact:  J.A.N. Lee, 540 231-5780, 

PACE Patter

Do you want to have your voice heard 
in Washington? These days it certainly 
would be nice to think that some one 
was listening to us. At the recent IEEE-
USA Professional Activities Conference 
Mark Pullen, a member of the 
Workforce Committee, told us how to 
set up a Grass Roots Information Pilot 
(GRIP) program. This two year 
program would focus on improving our 
ability to influence legislation at the 
federal level.

Volunteers and IEEE-USA staff would 
select priority focus issues and mobilize 
the grass-roots network. The program 
would rely primarily on Internet-based 
communication tools to inform and 
mobilize the network which would use 
these same tools to communicate with 
congressional representatives. The basic 
problem is to attract interested IEEE 
volunteers to become activists in this 
grass-roots network. If you are at all 
interested in learning more about this 
pilot program or in becoming part of the 
solution contact me at 

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