WASHINGTON (11 October 2007) — IEEE-USA is launching an online engineering video competition for undergraduate engineering students on “How Engineers Make a World of Difference,” and will award seven scholarship prizes totaling $10,000 to the undergraduate students who create the most effective 90-second video clips aimed at an 11-to-13-year-old student audience. The clips should reinforce engineers’ contributions to the quality of life and help debunk engineering stereotypes. In addition to the scholarship prizes, winning entries will be shown during National Engineers Week 2008 and displayed on IEEE.tv and SPECTRUM Online.

The competition is open to all U.S. undergraduate students in engineering. Entries can be provided by individuals or teams — with at least one undergraduate participant who is an IEEE Student Member. More than one video entry is allowed. Entries must be submitted through YouTube by midnight Eastern Time on Friday, 18 January 2008. The competition will be judged by two engineering graduate students and Nate Ball, engineer-host for PBS’ “Design Squad.”

For more information on how to enter the IEEE-USA Online Engineering Video Scholarship Competition, and upload an entry on YouTube, go to http://www.ieeeusa.org/communications/video_competition/

IEEE-USA has been actively involved in promoting public awareness of engineers and engineering since 1981. Working in tandem with its sister organizations, IEEE-USA has helped to foster and maintain a positive image of engineers and engineering through a variety of programs aimed at specific audiences using targeted media.

For more information on IEEE-USA’s public-awareness program, see http://www.ieeeusa.org/communications/default.asp

All student members who join the IEEE Computer Society are now eligible to select and download software from Microsoft. Available software includes Vista Business Edition, Visual Studio Team System, Expression Web Designer, Project 2007, Visio 2007 and Windows Server 2003. A user account with login information will be e-mailed on acceptance of an IEEE Computer Society application for student membership. For more information, and to join the Computer Society, go to http://www.computer.org/join. The IEEE Computer Society is the world’s leading association of computing professionals with more than 90,000 members in over 140 countries. It is also the largest society within the IEEE, which is the world’s largest technical professional organization.

CONTACT: Georgann Carter, IEEE Computer Society, +1 202 371 0101

WASHINGTON (11 October 2007) — Two organizations often at odds on immigration issues — notably H-1B visas — have joined forces to urge swift congressional action to ease retention of highly skilled immigrants. In a joint letter to key Senate and House leaders, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-USA) urged passage of measures to ease the hiring of foreign-born scientists and engineers and other proposals to enhance the global competitiveness of the U.S. high-tech sector.

The letter, signed by SIA President George Scalise and IEEE-USA President John Meredith, reads in part, “Both IEEE-USA and SIA see the retention of highly educated immigrants as part of a broader competitiveness and innovation initiative that includes a doubling of federal investment in research in the physical sciences, improvements in science, technology, engineering and math education at the K-12 and undergraduate levels, and enactment of a permanent and strengthened R&D tax credit.”

See the letter at http://www.ieeeusa.org/policy/policy/2007/101107.pdf.

The SIA is the leading voice for the semiconductor industry and has represented U.S. semiconductor companies since 1977. Collectively, the chip industry employs a domestic workforce of 232,000 people. More information about the SIA can be found at www.sia-online.org.

WASHINGTON (30 October 2007) — Former congressional staff members William B. Bonvillian and David J. Goldston will receive the 2006 IEEE-USA Distinguished Public Service Award on Capitol Hill on Thursday. The award, which is usually given to a member of Congress, is being presented to Bonvillian and Goldston for their “outstanding support of science and technology-related legislation and policy in the U.S. Congress.”

“This year we are honoring two of the most effective and hardworking congressional staff members whose leadership over the past several years has been instrumental in legislation affecting the technical community,” said IEEE-USA President-Elect Russ Lefevre, who will make the presentations. “By extension, we are recognizing countless other congressional staff whose efforts are behind all legislative successes.”

Bonvillian and Goldston will be honored at the Rayburn House Office Building (Room B-369) on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. Bonvillian is a former legislative director and chief counsel for Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.). He has been a stalwart supporter of federal R&D programs since his tenure in the Department of Transportation (1977-80). He is credited for supporting a wide array of initiatives for Lieberman, including work on the Clean Air Act (1990); the Technology Talent Act (2001); the Homeland Security Department Authorization (2002); the National Nanotechnology R&D Act (2003); and the National Innovation Act (2005), among others.

Bonvillian now works for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as director of federal relations and head of its Washington office.

Goldston, during his more than 20 years serving Congress, stood alongside retired Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) as champion supporters of federal R&D programs. He was named chief of staff of the newly renamed House Committee on Science and Technology when Boehlert became chairman in January of 2001. Goldston oversaw a committee with jurisdiction over civilian federal R&D budgets and programs at a number of federal agencies. Prior to that, he was Boehlert’s legislative director and top environmental aide.

Goldston is currently a scholar in residence with the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton (N.J.) University.

Past IEEE-USA Distinguished Public Service Award winners include Boehlert, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and retired Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio), among others.

IEEE-USA award recipients are recognized for their professionalism and technical achievements, as well as literary contributions to public awareness and understanding of the engineering profession in the United States. Most were recognized at the IEEE-USA Awards Banquet and Ceremony in Scottsdale, Ariz., on 2 September.

IEEE-USA’s distinguished awards are administered under its Awards and Recognition Committee and approved by the IEEE-USA Board of Directors. 2007 recipients will be chosen in November. For additional information, go to http://www.ieeeusa.org/volunteers/committees/awards/, or contact Sandra Kim at mailto:sandra.kim@ieee.org

WASHINGTON (31 October 2007) — Almost 600 million views by U.S. local TV news audiences were tallied by Nielsen Media Research for 28 IEEE technology-related mini “Discoveries & Breakthroughs” news reports aired between July 2006 and July 2007. In addition, at least 17 other brief news reports produced during the same time frame for “Discoveries & Breakthroughs” (“D&B”) mentioned “engineering,” “engineers,” or “bio-engineering.”

Since 2005, IEEE-USA has helped to underwrite more than 300 local television news reports on engineering and science in collaboration with the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and other technical professional organizations. IEEE-USA’s Board of Directors has approved $30,000 for the program in 2008 — its fourth year of involvement with “D&B” — in order to promote technological literacy and engineering awareness.

The AIP news service delivers a dozen vetted 90 second spots (in English and Spanish) to 110 local TV stations (including 30 Spanish stations) with a potential reach of 75 million TV viewers and an estimated 41 million online views per month. “D&B” is also distributed to seven Transit TV Networks on buses from Atlanta to Los Angeles, as well as to countries around the world through the Voice of America and online video networks, and through a Web-based syndication network.

Stories about IEEE technologies released in October 2007 include:
high-tech patient identification (“Information Technologists Design System to Recognize Palm Vein Patterns”); helping patients walk again (“Biomedical Engineers Use Electrical Stimulus to Help Patients Lift Their Feet”); kids creating computer games (“Computer Scientists Develop New Kid-Friendly Programming Language”); recycling without sorting (“Engineers Create Recycling Plant that Removes the Need to Sort”); stopping sink holes and street floods (“Engineers Design Sensor that Detects Leaky Pipes from the Inside”); people-free parking (“Engineers Build Automated Parking Garage”); and kidney exchange (“Computer Scientist Invents Software to Arrange Matches for Kidney Transplants”).

IEEE-related technology stories have their own Web site at http://www.aip.org/dbis/IEEE

AIP invests more than $1 million annually in “D&B” in order to reach the 44 percent of the U.S. public over 18 years of age which, according to the National Science Foundation, chooses local TV news as its top source of science and technology information. In a study involving 900 participants, University of Minnesota communications researchers found that the more “D&B” segments viewers watched, the more likely they were to agree with statements that showed support for engineering and science.

For an overview of IEEE-USA’s involvement in “D&B,” see the October issue of “IEEE-USA Today’s Engineer Online” at http://todaysengineer.org/2007/Oct/DBIS.asp

The current version of The Institute is now online at http://www.ieee.org/theinstitute.
Included in this issue are the following items:

1. New Membership Year Kicks Off — It’s that time again–time to renew your IEEE membership for next year. Your 2008 membership renewal package may have already arrived in the mail, or you can renew online right now. Find out how at http://bmsmail3.ieee.org:80/u/7823/04824637

2. 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 http://bmsmail3.ieee.org:80/u/7824/04824637

3. Marketplace of Ideas: Beware, Children Posting — CNN Online ran an article in October warning that what your child posts on social networking Web sites can get you into trouble. At MySpace and the like, children sometimes blog about their parents’ work secrets, addictions, and other private information. According to the article, companies scouring those sites have uncovered personal information about their employees and used it to fire them.

Do you think it’s fair to search MySpace and Facebook pages, looking for dirt on employees? Weigh in at mailto:institute@ieee.org

And read responses to August’s question on whether Google’s Street View maps are a bit too close for comfort. Responses range from declaring the service a dangerous invasion of privacy to seeing no problem at all. Read members’ comments at http://bmsmail3.ieee.org:80/u/7825/04824637

4. New Tools Speed Search for IEEE Documents — Two new tools–a toolbar for your Web browser and a search box–can help track down IEEE Xplore digital library documents faster and easier. For more about the new features, visit http://bmsmail3.ieee.org:80/u/7827/04824637

5. Memorials Keep Maxwell’s Memory Alive — There are surprisingly few tributes to the 19th-century Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, whose work merely laid the foundations of electromagnetic wave theory, radio propagation, microwave technology, and radio communications. The IEEE has tried to correct that this year. Find out how at http://bmsmail3.ieee.org:80/u/7828/04824637

6. Doing Continuing Education Seminars Made Easier — Through the IEEE Expert Now Section-Chapter Program, volunteers can chose online tutorials for a CE seminar from a catalog of programs. Read on at http://bmsmail3.ieee.org:80/u/7829/04824637

7. LeaderPoint Focuses on Leadership — Need a crash course in management? It’s available at a discount. The
IEEE has joined with LeaderPoint, one of its Education Partners Program providers, to offer members a 10 percent discount on management courses geared to people who lead–anything from a project, to a department, to an entire organization. Learn more at http://bmsmail3.ieee.org:80/u/7831/04824637

8. Tell Us About Your Humanitarian Project — Whether it’s coming up with a low-tech solution for a developing country’s everyday problems or bringing power to a disaster area, IEEE members are involved with engineering projects that make the world a better place. If you’ve been lending a helping hand to a humanitarian engineering project, tell the editors of The Institute about it at mailto:institute@ieee.org

9. Post Internships and Co-op Positions for Free on the IEEE Job Site — The IEEE Job Site is offering free job posts to employers for internships and co-op positions. If you’re an employer with positions to post, contact the Job site at mailto:employerjobsite@ieee.org

For more information, or to view open positions, visit http://bmsmail3.ieee.org:80/u/7832/04824637

10. IEEE Spectrum Webinars Available on Demand — If you missed the two most recent live IEEE Spectrum Tech Insiders Webinars, you can see them on demand in their entirety. To view “IEEE Spectrum Career Accelerator Forum: Career Security for Technology Professionals” and “Portable Designs With High-Power Batteries and Chargers,” sponsored by Micro Power Electronics Inc., visit http://bmsmail3.ieee.org:80/u/7834/04824637

11. Investment Guru Picks Clean Energy Technologies — In this IEEE Spectrum Online report, investment guru Robert Wilder shows why alternative and clean energy technologies aren’t just for tree huggers. For his investment fund, Wilder picks companies for their clean-energy technology, not just their balance sheets. Read on at http://bmsmail3.ieee.org:80/u/7835/04824637