IEEE Central Texas Section


Volume 52-09

September 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

As school resumes and many of our activities get back into full swing, Central Texas Section has been gearing up for an exciting Fall season.

Your CTS officers, committee members and society chapter leaders met in San Marcos on 16 August to review our plans for the coming year. In essence this is our opportunity to share experiences across society chapters to help us maximize our leverage across the various chapter in CTS. Moreover, it's a chance for the CTS officers and committee leaders to discuss their plans and air their issues for the CTS leadership to review. Finally the group can receive the proposals from the student chapters for funding support from CTS for the coming academic year. Oh yeah, .....and the BBQ is always very tasty.

This month will see nearly a dozen of your CTS buddies heading to the 2008 Sections Congress. We'll be doing our best to figure out how to make IEEE a better organization for all of us. Don't hesitate to contact me or any of the other section officers if you have a good idea for improving IEEE's value to the membership.

Finally, we look forward to an even stronger connection between the section and the student branches as we roll into the next few months. Steve Crowl has kicked off an initiative to have geographic points-of-contact for the section leadership available to each of the student chapters both in San Antonio and in Austin. For the San Antonio bunch, a special thanks to Ron Seaman who will be taking on that role. If you'd like to volunteer to help in the Austin area, please give Steve a shout.

Again, thanks for all you do for the profession.

Garrett Polhamus
Chairman, Central Texas Section

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Membership Development

IEEE Support for Career Management

Have you tried some of the great new tools for managing your career online at IEEE? One newer feature is called CAM (Career Asset Manager) - a great online tool that can serve as a repository for all information related to your career. Never be a victim of a hard drive failure or forgetting what classes you took, awards you won, or things you volunteered for again. Check it out at:

The general careers site can be reached at:

Joe Redfield
CTS Membership Development Chair

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Section & Chapter News

Solar Technology Workshop

The Solar Technology Workshop is dedicated to bring together experts in the convergence area of microelectronics and solar energy. The goals in developing this workshop are three-fold:

  • Provide background understanding of the current and future solar technologies focusing on the fundamentals through invited papers and tutorials.
  • Provide a forum for discussion to foster interaction and ideally generate insight to create breakthrough solutions to pressing problems.
  • Provide a venue for attendees to network with others having similar interests.

The workshop will be held September 5, 2008 , at Freescale Semiconductors in Austin, Texas. The workshop was established with the support of IEEE Central Texas Section and Freescale Semiconductor to provide a forum for learning and for open discussion in all areas of Solar Technologies and their applications.

Speakers Dr. Stuart M. Spitzer - Solar Cells: Technology, Business Opportunity, Trends
Dr. Qi Wang - Silicon Solar Cell Technology
Bert Haskell - Thin Film PV Technology & Module Design
Prof. David L. Carroll - Organic Solar Cell Technology
Gregory Kiss - Integration of Architecture & Solar Electric Systems
Date/Time Friday September 5, 2008 7:3am-4:45PM
Reservations Registration and more information is at Contact Thuy Dao 512-895-1574 for more information.
Location Freescale Semiconductor - 7700 W Parmer Ln Austin, TX 78729

Senior Member Update

Contratulations to Jason Baumgartner and Chung Lee, CTS's newest Senior Members. Senior Membership is the highest grade for which IEEE members can apply, and provides professional recognition for technical and professional excellence.

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Continuing Education

New E-Books on Plug-In Hybrids and Survivor Planning

Two new IEEE-USA E-Books are now available. The first E-Book, "Plug-In Hybrids: Electrification, Fuel Economy and the Environment," is part one of a three-part series from the IEEE-USA-sponsored symposium, "Plug-in Hybrids: Accelerating Progress 2007." The second E-Book, "Survivor Planning: What Every Spouse Should Know," is a concise, step-by-step guide to compiling and organizing important personal information in advance of your or a family member's death.

Tech Insider Webinar Series - Fresh Webinars

September Webcast - Meeting Demand for New Displays with New Technologies

Webinar Topics Wanted

To expand the scope of the Tech Insiders Webinars IEEE Spectrum offers, the editors are seeking your input on what topics you'd like to see covered. Send in your ideas by completing a survey at

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Student Branches

Branch Liaisons Needed
We are looking for volunteers to expand our contact with student branches and tomorrow's engineers. We would like one liaison per school that can attend two or three meetings per semester as a conduit to the section and the profession itself. Interested members should contact for more information.

St Mary's University- San Antonio (
Faculty Adviser: Djaffer Ibaroudene, Email:
Branch President: Joseph Campbell 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: Austin DeHart, email:

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

Student Member News

Students present plans for upcoming year

Our student branch leaders presented their plans for the academic year at the recent CTS fall planning meeting. Their proposals emphasized growth and support for engineering students and reaching into their communities to heighten awareness about what engineers do. Of course, robotics competition is keen and a fun way to apply classroom knowledge. Good luck and have a great year!

IEEE Marketplace of ideas

Read responses to May's marketplace question, which asked how bad engineering students have it. Members listed professors who aren't available, an unfair grading system, and tough school workloads as some of the obstacles they face. Check out their responses at

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2. Chapter Activities

Multiple Chapters

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Joint Circuits and Systems/Solid-State Circuits

Topic/Title Digital Multipler Performance
Speaker Dr. Earl Swartzlander, Professor at UT Austin
Date/Time Tuesday, September 9, 2008, 6:30PM
Cost none
Reservations not required
Location UT Campus - ACES 2.402 Auditorium

The joint Circuits & Systems/Solid State Circuits Societies normally 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, September 4, 2008
Cost None.
Location Freescale Semiconductor,
Long Canyon Conference Room in Bldg C
7700 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

Topic/Title Cognitive Agents for Social Environments
Speaker Yu Zhang, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Trinity University
Date/Time Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Cost $10 members/ $0 students/$13 non-members
Location Skyline Room, Coates Center, Trinity University, San Antonio.
Reservations Required by Friday before meeting to Yu Zhang, or (210) 999-7399.
Notes This meeting is open to the public.

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Consultants Network

Topic/Title BIG Broadband & Gigabit to the Home
Speaker Wayne Caswell --- As a technologist, futurist and marketer with Dell, IBM, Siemens and CAZITech Consulting, Wayne knows the benefits digital technologies can have on society and the challenges of adopting them. He's currently exploring options adjacent to the PC industry - in market sectors with higher growth and more impact, like Broadband & Wireless Internet, Web 2.0 & Cloud Computing, and Pervasive or Green technologies. Wayne's 30-year IBM career progressed from punch card and computer operator through programming and systems engineering, and into marketing, product planning, and market strategy. He has a BS degree in Technology Management from American University and is a member of the Austin Wireless Alliance, Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), Telecom ThinkTank, and the World Future Society.
Date/Time Thursday, September 11, 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
Abstract Understand the application possibilities and product design implications from the pending bandwidth Exaflood, which is enabled by Fiber-to-the-Home and Gigabit speeds (BIG Broadband). This presentation examines the capabilities of network alternatives like wireless and concludes that even 100 Mbps is not enough for a National Broadband Objective. And with a Gigabit objective, we can discuss bandwidth deployment obstacles and status and Internet issues facing the next administration.

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 Recap of 2008 EMC symposium in Detroit, plan for 2009 EMC symposium in Austin.
Speaker No technical lecture.
Date/Time Wednesday, September 24 - Food @ 6:30pm, Business begins @ 7:00pm
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

The EDC is pleased to sponsor the Solar Technology Workshop in September, in addition to our regular meeting, which is rescheduled from August, on Sept 25.

Topic/Title Resonant Chemical Surveillance Tags
Abstract In this talk an overview will be presented of efforts to develop a variety of chemical sensors, including self-contained wireless, un-powered resonant chemical surveillance tags for detection of chemical vapors. We are currently extending our work on single resonant rf (radio frequency) tags that have already demonstrated the ability to sense a variety of conditions. These sensors are interrogated in a non-contact manner and rely on resonance to transmit information about the state of tag. We have begun testing a resonant chemi-tag coupled to a photodiode in contact with chemiluminescent compound to provide the transduction path. We will also discuss a net of purely passive coupled, resonant tags exhibiting collective phenomena to form a single sensing surface, with the goal of enhancing the overall sensitivity of detection. There is an important distinction between the behavior of a single resonant tag sensor and the collective behavior of a coupled array of resonant sub-elements. It is this collective behavior we hope to harness to increase the chemical sensitivity of the overall surface beyond that of a single tag.
Speaker Dean P. Neikirk, Microelectronics Research Center, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
Speaker Bio Dean Neikirk is currently the Cullen Trust for Higher Education Endowed Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. (1984) in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1984, and has been at the University of Texas at Austin since 1984. His research spans such diverse areas as very high frequency (THz) devices to chemical sensors. Dr. Neikirk is also heavily involved in electromagnetics, and the use of IC fabrication techniques to build electromagnetic devices. His work includes research on micromachined devices for use as infrared, chemical, and civil infrastructure sensors.
Date/Time Rescheduled to Thursday September 25, 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

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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

Speaker Lou Frenzel
Date/Time Wednesday, September 24, 11am to 1pm
Location Camino Ranch, 14855 IH-35 North, Selma (on opposite side of I-35 from the Forum (I-35 & 1604)).

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 and Energy Society - Austin

Topic/Title IECC Code Update
Speaker Our Speaker, Jerry Cassel, LC, is GE Lamp's Senior Specification Engineer responsible for market development and emerging Lamp and Ballast technology training seminars in the 9 state southwest region. As a technical resource for GE Lighting's Specification Engineering team, his primary clients are Lighting Designers, Specifiers, Architects, Engineers, and Facilities / Energy Managers in the Educational, Public, Commercial, Industrial and Retail markets. Being very active in IESNA, Jerry is a recurring speaker for the 9 IES sections in the southwest and central regions. He is Secretary and board member for the North Texas Section, and serves as the Education Chairperson, facilitating annual ED-100, ED-150 educational sessions and hosting the LC Exam preparatory study group each year.

Jerry joined GE in 1997 as a Sr. Program Manager with an extensive background in Manufacturing Engineering, Production Operations, Industrial Engineering and Planning. Under GEs training, he acquired the Six Sigma Quality Black Belt Certification in 1999, and then proceeded to expand his expertise in Customer Service, Sales and Inventory Management, prior to engaging his current role in 2002.

Jerry, an accomplished public speaker having held membership in Toastmasters International, attained LC (Lighting Certified) designation in 2005 and holds a BS degree from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. He is one of the Lead Singers and the Drummer in "4 of a Kind", a classic rock band from Plano, Texas. He and Diane, his wife of 9 years, reside in Plano with 18-year-old son, Austin. His 2 stepsons Jeremy and Zachary reside in Texas.

Date/Time Tuesday, September 23, 2008
6:00 PM Social
6:30 to 7:00 PM Dinner
7:00 to 7:30 PM Business Meeting
7:30 to 8:30 PM Program
9:00 PM room closes for the benefit of long distance drivers and early risers
Dinner Dinner is free for full-time students
$12 or $20 for IEEE members and accompanying spouses
$15 or $23 for non-IEEE members
Location El Gallo Mexican Restaurant , 512-444-2205
2910 S Congress
Austin, Texas
Reservations Please RSVP if you plan to attend. To reply or for further information, please contact Stan Friend via email at

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Power and Energy Society - San Antonio

Topic/Title The Challlenges of Renewable Resources
Speaker John Michael Harris, CPS Energy
Date/Time Thursday, Sept 25 - 6:00 PM Social, 6:30 PM Dinner, 7:00 PM Program
Cost $10 members, $15 non-members, **FREE** for students (Cash only please, no checks or cards)
Reservations Please RSVP to John Brogan @ 210-353-3375 or
Location Grady's BBQ, 6510 San Pedro, San Antonio (210-806-8036)
Notes See website for more information.

As always you do not have to be an IEEE member to attend.

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Product Safety Engineering Society

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 Network Behavior Analysis
Speaker Peter Mullarkey - Sr. Scientist, NetQOS
Date/Time Thursday, September 17, 2008 at 6:30pm
Cost Free
Reservations Please RSVP to Steve Crowl so that we may provide a guest list to our host.
Location AT&T Labs - 9505 Arboretum Blvd, Austin, TX 78759
Directions Yahoo Map
Abstract TBS - check our website for updates

Upcoming Meetings:

  • TBA - San Antonio

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Technology Management Council - Austin

The IEEE Technology Management Council (Austin Chapter) is embarking on a year-long series: "Effective Engineering Leadership." This series of events is designed to help engineers and engineering managers develop the skills they need to become more effective, with take-away that they can implement immediately.

We will meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month , beginning in October (October 14) at Amplify, 2608 Brockton Drive (Brocton and Burnet) at 6:30pm-8:30pm. Drinks and snacks will be provided.

Topics we will cover, over the course of several months, include:

  • Leading Teams
    • Rewards, recognition and pitfalls
    • What is the future environment for teams? (for example, virtual)
    • How to increase productivity for your team
    • Managing Difficult People, Managing High Achievers
  • For 2009 meetings:
    • How to get things done without blowing up your career
    • Choosing winners: how to pick initiatives and objectives for your team
    • Risk management
    • What your management really wants
    • How to negotiate for the resources your team needs

Our October 14th meeting will feature guest speaker Israel Gat, VP of R&D for Infrastructure Management at BMC Software, who will speak about "Leading Teams." His thoughts are noted on the blog:

Plan now to join us in October for a fantastic opening event for this series!

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

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Technology Management Council - San Antonio

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

It's U.S. Law: No to Genetic Discrimination

U.S. citizens no longer need worry about genetic discrimination, thanks to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, signed into law on 21 May. The law prevents medical insurers from changing, canceling, or denying coverage based solely on a person's genetic predisposition to a disease or disorder. The bill has long been supported by IEEE-USA. Read on at

Invisibility Cloaks Creep Closer

Using nanometer-scale metamaterials, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have bent visible light the wrong way for the first time around a three-dimensional surface. Previously, they were able only to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects. It's a big step toward the science-fiction-like goal of making things invisible. Read on at

U.S. Satellite Shootdown: The Inside Story

On 21 February 2008, the U.S. Navy used an antimissile missile to shoot down an errant American spy satellite descending over the Pacific Ocean. Our space technology contributor, James Oberg, has diligently analyzed the background of the mission and concludes that, despite the cynics who claim otherwise, the United States acted reasonably and responsibly. Read on at

Spectrum Podcast: Converting My Analog TV

Analog television broadcasting in the United States will soon end, replaced by all-digital transmission via the airwaves. The U.S. government is subsidizing the conversion process and has promised that it will be cheap and easy. Spectrum's Tekla S. Perry found out that, at least for her, it was anything but simple. Listen Now!

New on --- NREL Wind Technology Center

Jim Johnson, Senior Engineer at the NREL Wind Technology Center, gives a tour of the Wind Research testing site that includes several kinds of wind turbines, including a stop at the blade testing site. He discusses various kinds of data obtained from this site. 2008 July - 4:55 min(s)

Three Delivery Options for The Institute and IEEE Spectrum

You will have three subscription delivery options for receiving The Institute and IEEE Spectrum in 2009. For more information about these options, including how to choose one when you renew, visit

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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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