IEEE Central Texas Section


Volume 52-06

June 2008

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,


1. Section Activities

2. Chapter Activities

3. News & Information

4. Local Conferences

5. Other Conferences


Your IEEE -
IEEE Region 5
IEEE Central Texas Section

IEEE Conferences - Calls for Papers
IEEE Xplore - fulltext access to IEEE Publications
What's New at IEEE
Society News from IEEE
IEEE Standards Association
The Spectrum Online - The Magazine for Technology Insiders

1. Section Activities

Chairman's Column

Greetings all. I hope everyone is having a great start to this summer of 2008.

At last month's officer teleconference, we spent some considerable time discussing the way ahead for our new Educational Activities program. Stand by for additional information as Steve Prough begins to orchestrate a more integrated program to benefit all our Section members.

As we head into the summer vacation season, many chapters are shutting down their monthly meetings for a few months. At the end of the summer, the Section leadership will hold its Fall planning meeting in San Marcos. From that meeting we'll hope to launch into several new activities planned for later this year.

Finally I hope everyone will have a safe summer holiday season. Watch out for those long days behind the wheel driving to that favorite destination, those big waves and rip tides at the beach, and those boat hazards that surface every summer.

And thanks again for your help to the profession.

Garrett Polhamus
Chairman, Central Texas Section

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Section & Chapter News


Many Section Members have distinguished themselves over the years and deserve your recognition. You know who they are. Please take a moment and contact the CTS Awards Chair, Clif Denny,, to nominate them for the CTS lifetime achievement award.

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Continuing Education

New Certification Programs for Wireless and Software Engineers

Two IEEE societies are helping wireless-communications and software engineers demonstrate their skill and proficiency in the workplace with two new certification programs and improvements to an existing one. To learn more, go to

Nanotechnology Explained

Many engineers are still mystified by just what nanotechnology is all about, nor do they know how to involve themselves in what is expected to greatly benefit such fields as electronics, medicine, and the environment. To help professionals get a handle on what's going on, a recent online seminar covered the fundamentals of nanotechnology. To learn more, visit

Tutorials Explain Intellectual Property Rights

Three new online tutorials covering the ins and outs of U.S. copyright, trademark, and patent rules and regulations have been added to the Web site of the IEEE Intellectual Property Rights Office. The presentations seek to explain the IPR topics simply, relying on animated images to make the information lively. For more information, visit

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Student Branches

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

Trinity University - San Antonio
Faculty Adviser: Farzan Aminian, email:
Branch President: Jonathan Simpkins, email:

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

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

Student Member News

Marketplace of Ideas: How Bad Do Engineering Students Have It?

A blogger on recently posted the "Top 5 Reasons it Sucks to Be an Engineering Student." Cited were awful textbooks, professors who are rarely encouraging, poor academic counseling, assignments that all feel the same, and--perhaps worst of all--that other disciplines routinely offer inflated grades. According to the blog, "brilliant engineering students may earn surprisingly low grades, while slackers in other [academic] departments score straight A's for writing book reports...about their favorite zombie films."

Do you agree with this blogger? Do you have unfortunate reasons of your own to add? Weigh in at

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2. Chapter Activities

Multiple Chapters

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Joint Circuits and Systems/Solid-State Circuits

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 the website. If you have any questions about this meeting or this group, please contact or

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Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology

Topic/Title Administrative Meeting
Date/Time Thursday, June 5, 2008
Cost None.
Location Freescale Semiconductor,
Long Canyon Conference Room in Bldg C
7700 W. Parmer Lane
Austin, TX 78729

Chair: Om P Mandhana, Freescale

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Computer Society - Austin

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Computer Society - San Antonio

The San Antonio Computer Society will be on summer break until our September 2008 meeting

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Consultants Network

(updated - thanks to John Carlsen!)
Topic/Title Roundtable discussion. Give us a 5-minute presentation on your most interesting project
Speaker All who attend.
Date/Time Thursday, June 12, 2008
(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.
Reservations Not required. All interested parties are invited to attend.
Location China Star Restaurant, 6134 Hwy 290E, Austin TX. Westbound access road of 290E, just east of IH 35

Do a friend a favor. Bring your colleague to grow the Consultants Network attendance.

The Consultants web directory is to be found at

Do the Consultants Network a favor. Give a talk or get a speaker for one meeting this year. Email the bio and summary to the Chairman.

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Electromagnetic Compatibility Society

Topic/Title EMC Requirements for Test & Measurement Equipment
Speaker Ross Carlton, National Instruments
Date/Time Wednesday, June 25, 6:30 PM
Reservations RSVP Mike Royer at
Location National Instruments, Austin/
Notes Food will be provided. See website for directions.

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Electron Devices Society

Topic/Title Versatile Dry Release Process Dramatically Reduces MEMS Production Time
Speaker Alan Atherton, Senior Technologist, Memsstar Technologies
Speaker Bio Alan Atherton has spent over 30 thirty years in the Semiconductor industry with process engineering experience at Motorola Inc,. Applied Materials, and currently as Senior Technologist at memsstarĘ Technologies.╩ His process engineering╩ experience covers most areas of chip manufacturing including etch, CVD, PVD, and photo lithography.╩ He received his Bachelors degree in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin.
Date/Time Thursday June 26, 2008 6:00-7:30PM
Refreshments 6:00-6:30PM
Reservations RSVP to We need an accurate count to purchase refreshments.
Location SEMATECH Room F-C - Map at

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

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Engineering in Medicine and Biology

EMBS will not be having technical meetings over the Summer. Look for our next meeting in September!

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Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD)

For more Information contact Jason Polendo

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Laser and Electro Optics Society

For more information, contact Ray Chen

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Life Members Affinity Group

San Antonio Life Members Chapter Meeting

Topic/Title The Challenges of Renewable Resources
Speaker John Michael Harris
Date/Time Thursday, July 24 (not June!), 2008, 11 am to 1 pm
Bio/Abstract Mike is a Mechanical Engineer and former chair of ASME/San Antonio. He is currently Generation Performance Manager at City Public Service. The presentation will include some practical stuff about wind generation, landfill gas generation, CPS Energy's (and ERCOT's) typical load curve vs. typical wind curves, how we deal with the intermittent nature of wind energy (now and potential for the future), and a bit on the future of things like solar power, future wind power, transmission line congestion and so on.
Location TBD
RSVP RSVP'd requested to Bob Harris ( so we can estimate food requirements.

Planning Committee Members Needed

We are looking for a few more volunteers to round out our Chapter's planning Committee. We currently have three, Scott Atkinson, Bob Harris and Ernest Franke. We meet monthly for lunch to review IEEE, Central Texas Section and Chapter activities. Interested folks should contact or 210-481-4932.

If a Life Member is not receiving email from our Chapter, please contact Scott Atkinson at or 210-481-4932.

For more information, contact Scott Atkinson

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Power Engineering Society - Austin

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Power Engineering Society - San Antonio

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Product Safety Engineering Society

Topic/Title Batteries
Speaker Jim Seippel- Dell
Date/Time June 17, 2008, 6:30pm
Cost none
Reservations Call Dale Ritzen (512) 651-5338 for details and directions.
Location Dell, Parmer Campus, Parmer South Building 4, Victoria Conference Room.

We encourage you, others in your organization, or other interested parties to participate in our meetings. The PSES meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30, with the program starting at 7pm. For further information about the PSES, please contact Dale Ritzen at (512) 651-5338 or Gary Schrempp at

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Joint Signal Processing/Communications Society

Topic/Title Investigation of RF Interference Effects on 802.11 Wireless LAN: Experimental Results
Speaker Ben Jones, CTS, Bandspeed
Date/Time Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 7pm
Cost Free
Reservations RSVP to Steve Crowl
Location AT&T Labs - 9505 Arboretum Blvd, Austin, TX 78759
Directions Yahoo Map
Speaker Bio Ben, CTO at Bandspeed, has 25 years of engineering experience in R&D and product development, specializing in signal processing, automatic control, and communications. He has deep expertise in a broad range of technologies from sensors, to integrated circuits, to RF and antennas. At Tracor (now BAE), Ben was the deputy director of a team who developed novel signal processing techniques for detection, tracking, and classification of underwater acoustic signals. He has seven issued Patents and seven pending Patents. Ben is the author of over 20 white papers and technical reports. He received a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.

Upcoming Meetings:

  • July 17: Ultra Wideband, Jim Lansford Aleron
  • Aug 7-8: Wireless Hive Networks Conference, Austin (
  • Sept 18: Network Behavior Analysis, Peter Mullarkey NetQoS
  • Oct 16: Command and Control Communications, UT-San Antonio

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Technology Management Council - Austin

Contact Leslie Martinich ( for more information about the Austin TMC.

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Technology Management Council - San Antonio

Topic/Title Millennials and Gen Y in Education and the Workplace
Speaker UIW Assistant Professor Dr. Michael Frye
Date/Time June 19th
Reservations Contact Nils Smith for more details.
Location UIW Campus

Contact Nils Smith ( for information about the San Antonio TMC.

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Women in Engineering

Women in Engineering has been an Affinity Group of the Central Texas Section since the Fall of 2002.

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3. News & Information

Did you know? - Central Texas Section/Chapter Calendar Available

Want to know what's going on in the Central Texas Section? In addition to the Analog and the Mid-Month reminders, there is a calendar of events on the CTS website - go take a look today, it's at

IEEE USA Career News

Check out the IEEE_USA presentation from the 2008 annual meeting, posted on the employment section of the CTS web site. The presentation gives tips on employment assistance, career development, and enhancing business.

IEEE-USA Awards Nomination Underway

You are invited to get involved into the nomination process. The deadline for Nominations for IEEE-USA Awards is July 31, 2008.

IEEE-USA Awards are given to recognize, professionalism, technical achievement, and literary contributions to public awareness and understanding of the engineering profession in the United States. Professionalism is characterized by efforts which advance the standing of members in the professions served by IEEE. Example activities are:

  • Promotion of science and math education in pre-college education
  • Promotion of professional awareness with college students
  • Educating members on non-technical skills to advance and maintain their careers
  • Educating the public on the positive impact of the professions served by IEEE

IEEE-USA awards include:

    • Robert S. Walleigh Distinguished Contributions to Engineering Professionalism Award
    • Award for Distinguished Public Service
    • Citation of Honor
    • Precollege Education Committee Teacher-Engineer Partnership Award
    • Regional/Divisional Professional Leadership Award
    • Professional Achievement Award:
      • For individuals
      • For organizations
    • Harry Diamond Memorial Award
    • Electrotechnology Transfer Award
    • Award for Distinguished Literary Contributions Furthering Public Understanding of the Profession
    • Award for Distinguished Literary Contributions Furthering Engineering Professionalism

For detailed information and nomination forms please see:

Don't see an award that fits your nominee here? IEEE has many other award categories available. Check out the following links for listings:

Call for Fellow Nominations

Nominations are being accepted for the IEEE Fellows class of 2010. The rank of IEEE Fellow is the institute's highest member grade, bestowed on an IEEE Senior Member who has had an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The deadline for nominations is 1 March 2009. Senior Members can be nominated in one of four categories: application engineer/practitioner, research engineer/scientist, educator, or technical leader.

The Fellows Web pages contain information regarding the history of the IEEE Fellows program, the nomination process, access to the Fellows Nomination Kit, lists of Fellows who are eligible to be references and more about the Fellow program. Please visit the Fellows website at http:/

"Nerd Girls" TV Program Challenges Stereotypes

In the midst of reality TV shows featuring dancers, models, and singers trying to make it in show business, is now showing a pilot of "Nerd Girls"--a reality show about a team of female engineering students building a solar car. Read on at

Members Make Things Smaller, Cheaper, Stickier

Several IEEE members have helped develop incredibly small computer chips, inexpensive genetic testing, and a new adhesive material. Their projects were featured in recent Science Daily news stories. Read about their innovative work at

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4. Local Conferences

5. Other Conferences

These conferences have been brought to our attention by section members

  • 2008 Workshop on Accelerated Stress Testing & Reliability - "Achieving Cradle to Grave Reliability using DFR and Accelerated Stress Testing" - will be held October 1 - 3, 2008 in Portland, OR

    Please visit our website at , and find out all of the important information for our 2008 conference. We are still soliciting presentations for the workshop (papers not required). Our conference is growing every year, and we hope to see you at the historic Benson Hotel in Portland in October.

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