IEEE Central Texas Section


Volume 51-12

December 2007

Newsletter of the Central Texas Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc.

Published monthly. Deadline for inclusion is the 25th day of the previous month. Send submissions, comments, questions to Kevin Nickels, Editor,

Editors Note: I'm using a new toolchain to produce the Analog – please let me know if something looks funny or doesn't function, and I'll attempt to get it fixed.


  1. Section Activities

  2. Chapter Activities

  3. IEEE Info

  4. Local Conferences


1. Section Activities

Chairman's Column

It has been my privilege to serve you for the past two years as your Section Chairman. At the close of this year, my time in office expires and it is time to elect new leadership. The Section nominations committee has prepared a slate of officers for your consideration below - please support them.

During these past two years, I have enjoyed great support from the Section. I know that I have grown professionally and I hope that you have benefited by your membership as well. We have accomplished a great deal during this time. We continue to promote Members to Senior Member. We have added technical society chapters. We have sponsored conferences for the benefit of our Section membership, and we ensured the best for our professional society through our support of potential new members in high school and our student chapters at the universities in our geographic area.

During this holiday season, the members of Central Texas Section have a lot to celebrate. I would like to thank you all for permitting me to serve this Section as Chairman.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.

Be sure to consult the Central Texas Section Website for meetings, conference dates, and news, and try the myIEEE at It is a portal to IEEE services and products customized to your specific membership profile.

Thanks to all who volunteer their time and skill to the Central Texas Section of IEEE. Please let me know how I can help you participate.

Clif Denny
Chairman, Central Texas Section

Section & Chapter News

Section Elections
The nominating committee recommends the following slate of Section officers for the 2008-09 term:
Chair Garrett Polhamus
Vice-Chair Austin Tom Grim
Vice-Chair San Antonio Dawn Roberson
Secretary Thuy Dao
Treasurer Kenny Rice
Should any other member of the Section wish to run for one of the above offices, a petition signed by 25 members of the Section must be submitted to the Section Executive Committee on or before December 28.

Chapter Elections
Officers for Chapters must be elected by the end of the year.

Chapter and Affinity Group Meeting Reports Due
Your L31 reports are due by the end of the year.

Teacher in Service Program
The IEEE Central Texas Section is implementing the IEEE Teacher In-Service Program (TISP). TISP is a volunteer program where IEEE members work with local schools and school districts to provide technology training to teachers in an in-service environment. IEEE, in partnership with IBM, has developed a large number of lesson plans (at - Check it out!) that IEEE members help teachers to implement in the classroom. More information on the TISP program can be found at The CTS is currently recruiting section members to become involved in the program. Training and financial support for TISP activities is available! Please contact Dean Schneider at for more information on how you can be involved in our children's future. Chapter chairs, please contact Dean Schneider if you would like to have a presentation on TiSP at your chapter meeting.

The last A&A Review Panel meeting was held on 27 October 2007 in Austin, Texas, USA. Gene F. Hoffnagle, Chair of the A&A Committee, would like to thank the panel of Senior Members and Fellows from the Central Texas Section who took part in the review process. The next IEEE Senior Member Review Panel Meeting will be held on 1December 2007, in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. The Central Texas Section congratulates our two newest senior members, Dennis Ferguson and Moises Robinson!

Continuing Education

The University of Texas at Austin offers a wide array of continuing engineering education opportunities geared towards Texas engineers. All of the training awards continuing education units (CEUs) which Texas PEs are now required to submit for their annual renewal. We even boast CEU Conferences where you can get all required 1.5 CEUs - including 1 hour of engineering ethics â in just a few days! Visit for more information.

IEEE Offers Online Seminar on 21st-Century Engineering Dec 4, 2008
Register now for the IEEE GOLD online seminar "The 21st-Century Engineer," taking place on 4 December. Adrian Pais, a telecommunications specialist, will discuss the changing nature of the engineering profession and the challenges and opportunities this presents. Learn about the six essential values an engineer should possess to remain competitive. To register for the seminar, go to

WiMAX: Ready for Prime Time
On 5 December, the latest of the IEEE Spectrum Tech Insider Webinar series will feature industry experts discussing some of the hottest issues in WiMAX, including how it will compete with 3G technology and reshape mobile devices and the Internet. For more information or to register for the Webinar, sponsored by Applied Wave Research, visit

Student Branches

St Mary's University- San Antonio (for more information)
Faculty Adviser: Djaffer Ibaroudene, Email:
Branch President: Damon Cardenas (email:

Trinity University - San Antonio
Faculty Adviser: Farzan Aminian, email:
Branch President: Katherine Avakian, email:

University of Texas at Austin (for more information)
Faculty Adviser: Sriram Vishwanath, email:
Branch chair: William Ward, email:

University of Texas at San Antonio(for more information)
Faculty Adviser: Yufang Jin, email:
Branch chair: John Collins,

Student Branch News

Trinity University recently won a national competition on designing an 'Accessible Home Vital Signs Monitoring System" beating other, major universities. The scope of the project was to design and construct an accessible home vital signs monitoring system which is non-invasive, accessible, safe, and accurate. The team members were Michael Giese, Katherine Avakian, Matt Bardwell, Kevin Wallof with contributions from Adam Harwell, and advised by Prof Farzan Aminian.

On November 15th, Trinity University’s student chapter threw a robot building party. Small robot kits of different types were ordered online from Carl’s Electronics for about $20 each. All the kits required beginner soldering. The event lasted for about five hours during which students ate pizza and got to know each other. First year students got the chance to meet and work with upperclassmen who in many cases taught them how to solder. At the end, teems raced their robots through a cardboard maze to see which ones were the fastest. As an added bonus to the evening, each team kept the robot that they built. The robot building party was successful at both generating interest in IEEE among Trinity engineering students and at introducing a fun side of electrical engineering to first year students.

Editor's Note – Advisers/presidents - send us updates on student chapter activities!

Calls for Volunteers

The Austin Energy Regional Science Fest is seeking judges. Judging will take place for the Jr/Sr division on Thursday, February 21 at the Palmer Events Center in Austin. To volunteer as a judge, go to and click on "sign up as a Science Festival judge now".

2. Chapter Activities

Multiple Chapters

No Joint Meetings scheduled for December.

Joint Circuits and Systems/Solid-State Circuits

Topic or Presentation Title: Start-ups vs. Public Companies
Speaker: Bob Russo, President and CEO, Intrinsity, Inc and frequent guest lecturer at several California Universities.
Date and Time:
Tuesday, December 11, 6:30PM
Cost: none
Reservations: not required
Meeting Location: UT Campus - ACES 2.402 Auditorium

Light Refreshments will be provided.

The joint Circuits & Systems/Solid State Circuits Societies meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. This meeting is open to the public and interested parties. Additional details will be posted at If you have any questions about this meeting or this group, please contact or

Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology

Topic or Presentation Title:TBD
Date and Time: Thursday, February 7, 2008, 6pm-7:30pm
Invited Speaker:
Meeting Location:

CPMT-Chapter Website:
Chair: Om P Mandhana, Freescale

Computer Society - Austin [for more information]

Topic or Presentation Title:

Date and Time: No meeting planned for December
Cost: none
Meeting Location:

See for detailed directions and for last minute information. This presentation is open to the public.

Computer Society - San Antonio [for more information]

Topic or Presentation Title:
Date and Time:
Reservations:Email Yu Zhang by Mon before meeting, (210) 999-7399
Directions will be available at

More information on the program is available at our Web site This meeting is open to the public.

Consultants Network [for more information]

Topic: Mobile Computing, and Annual Election of Officers
Speaker: Rob Roberts
Date and Time: Thursday, December 13, 2007 (New regular meeting is on 2nd Thursday)
Networking at 6:00 pm, Business and program from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Cost: $5.00 minimum charge for the restaurant.. Supper is at optional extra cost
Not required. All interested parties are invited to attend.
Meeting Location:
China Star Restaurant, 6134 Hwy 290 E, Austin TX
Directions: Westbound access road of 290E, just east of IH 35

Please bring a colleague to help us grow the Consultants Network attendance. The Consultants web directory is to be found at

Electromagnetic Compatibility Society [for more information]

Topic or Presentation Title: EMC Chapter Christmas Party
Speaker: Hosted by ETS Lindgren
Date and Time:
December 13, 6:30-9:00pm
Who: Interested Attendees and Spouses welcome
What:We will have a "White Elephant" gift exchange ($15 or less)
Where: At ETS-Lindgren world headquarters, in Cedar Park
Food will be provided by ETS-Lindgren
RSVP to Mike Royer ( by Dec 10
Map: See website.

Neither IEEE nor EMC membership is required and all visitors are invited to attend. For additional information, including map to the meeting location, please see our web site at

Electron Devices Society [for more information]

Topic or Presentation Title: No November or December Meetings
Date and Time:
Meeting Location: SEMATECH Room F-C

See EDC web link for future meeting dates, past meeting presentations:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology [for more information]

Topic or Presentation Title: A Biased View of the Origins of Engineering in Medicine and Biology
Speaker: Dave Kilpatrick
Date and Time: 6:30pm, December 19, 2007
6:30 networking, 7:00 dinner, 8:00 technical presentation
Cost: $10 IEEE members, $15 non-members, students free
Reservations: Please email Garrett Polhamus (Garrett.Polhamus@Brooks.AF.Mil) so we have a head count for dinner.
Meeting Location: Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building (BSE) 2.102, University of Texas at San Antonio Main Campus, 6900 N. Loop 1604 West, Map available:

The nominations committee for the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Chapter offer the following slate of candidates for 2008:
Dr. Royce Johnson – Chairman
Haeock Lee - Vice-Chairman
Nominations may be submitted by petition through 12/28/2007 and must be signed by 1% of the chapter membership.  Petitions may be brought to the January EMB meeting when elections will be held for 2008.

For further information, please contact Dawn Roberson, 210-458-5520.

Engineering Management [for more information]

Topic or Presentation Title: The Engineering Management Society will hold a joint meeting of the Austin and San Antonio Chapters. The IEEE Engineering Management Society has some exciting plans for 2008, and you can help set the direction.
Date and Time:
Monday, December 3, 5:30pm
Cost: none, but you can get dinner at the Cabela's cafeteria and bring it to the meeting.
Meeting Location: Cabela's on I35 in Buda

See for more information. Come early, skip the traffic, and do some fun shopping!

For other information about the Engineering Management Society activities, see the the web site: For information regarding chapter activities (and those wanting to volunteer), contact Leslie Martinich ( (512-423-5121).

Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD)

Topic or Presentation Title: TBA
Date and Time:
Thursday, 6p
Jason Polendo for San Antonio
Meeting Location:

Laser and Electro Optics Society

Topic or Presentation Title: TBA
Date and Time:
Meeting Location:

For more information, contact Ray Chen.

Life Members Affinity Group

Topic or Presentation Title: TBA
Date and Time:
Planning next meeting in January
Meeting Location:

For more information, contact Scott Atkinson

Power Engineering Society - Austin [for more information]

Topic or Presentation Title: No meeting for November/December (see below)
Date and Time:

Cost: $12 IEEE Members and accompanying spouses, $15 non-IEEE members, free for full-time students
Reservations: Please RSVP to Stan Friend or go to our web site at
Meeting Location: El Gallo Mexican Restaurant at 2910 S Congress

The tour originally scheduled for the November meeting had to be canceled because of unsafe conditions due to heavy construction. So our next general meeting will be on January 22, 2008 at El Gallo Mexican Restaurant in South Austin. Our social time begins at 6 PM followed by a short business meeting, dinner, a presentation, and a discussion. Students eat free and accompanying spouses pay member rates. Please email our Secretary, Stan Friend, if you plan to attend.

Power Engineering Society - San Antonio [for more information]

Topic or Presentation Title:
Date and Time: No meeting planned for December
Meeting Location:
Directions:Available on our website.
Reservations: Please RSVP to Steven Mouser @ 210-658-7250.

As always you do not have to be an IEEE member to attend. For more information go to our web site at

Product Safety Engineering Society [for more information]

Topic or Presentation Title: TBA
Date and Time: January 22, 2008
Reservations: Please RSVP if you plan to attend (see below)
Meeting Location:

The PES Austin Chapter is not scheduled to meet in December. Our next general meeting will be on January 22, 2008 at El Gallo Mexican Restaurant in South Austin. Our social time begins at 6 PM followed by a short business meeting, dinner, a presentation, and a discussion. Students eat free and accompanying spouses pay member rates. Please email our Secretary, Stan Friend, if you plan to attend.

For further information about the PSES, please contact Dale Ritzen at (512) 651-5338.
Chair: Gary Schrempp(

Joint Signal Processing/Communications Society [for more information]

Topic: TBA
Date and Time:
Cost: Free; Sandwiches and soft drinks will be served
Reservations: RSVP to Steve Crowl
Meeting Location: AT&T (formerly SBC) Labs - 9505 Arboretum Blvd, Austin, TX 78759
Directions: map from

Women in Engineering [for more information]

Topic or Presentation Title: TBA
Date and Time:
Meeting Location:

Women in Engineering has been an Affinity Group of the Central Texas Section since the Fall of 2002. Additional information is on the WIE website at

3. IEEE Info

Autonomous Vehicles Complete DARPA Urban Challenge

The latest Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency competition tested the ability of cars to drive themselves in populated areas. The Urban Challenge took place recently in California, pitting manufacturers and engineering colleges against one another in a high-tech race to prove who could build the smartest robotic vehicle. The winner was. . . (read more at

Charles Elachi: Exploring the Unknown

As far back as he can remember, Charles Elachi was fascinated with space. Looking up at the night sky from the patio of his childhood home in Rayak, Lebanon, he would wonder, are people watching us from other planets too? And how did life begin? Today he may be closer to the answers. Read about this IEEE Fellow's career in space exploration at

Apple Cofounder Donates Money to Student Branch

The IEEE student branch at the University of California at Berkeley lucked out when Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak went back to his roots. A graduate of the school, class of 1986, he donated US $1000 to the branch in September. Learn more at

Electronic Ticket Checker Named IEEE Engineering Milestone

Subway systems and electronic fare cards are commonplace these days. But the development of the world's first commuter ticket-scanning machine, installed to check the tickets of mobs of riders, was recently named an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing. Read on at

IEEE-USA Zeroes In on Plug-In Hybrids

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have a lot of potential benefits for both fuel consumption and the environment, but they're not yet ready for prime time. Read about an IEEE-USA symposium that covered the many challenges that plug-ins face, at

4. Local Conferences

2007 IEEE International Workshop on Microprocessor Test and Verification (MTV) will be held Dec 2-5 in Austin.

  • 2008 IEEE PES Joint January Technical Committee Meeting will be held January 7-10 at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio.
    The purpose of the 2008 IEEE PES January Joint Technical Committee Meeting is to provide a forum where PES technical committees can meet for up to 4 days to focus on technical matters and standards - the primary work of committees, subcommittees, working groups, and/or task forces - without the distractions of the unrelated elements generally found at other PES meetings or expositions.

  • 2008 IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC 2008) will be held in Austin Feb 24-28.

  • 2008 IEEE Region 5 Technical, Professional and Student Conference will be held April 17-20 in Kansas City. Paper submissions are due November 30.

  • 2008 IEEE Multi-Conference on Systems and Control (MSC) will be held in San Antonio on Sept 3-5. Paper submissions are due January 15, 2008.