Winning Entry in ‘How Engineers Make a World of Difference’ Online
Video Scholarship Competition Featured on ‘Design Squad’ Web Site

WASHINGTON (18 November 2008) — The winning entry in the 2008 IEEE-USA “How Engineers Make a World of Difference” Online Engineering Video Scholarship Competition can be seen on the PBS “Design Squad” Web site at  

Engineering Undergraduates Ben Toler and Emile Frey of Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, La., split the IEEE-USA competition’s $2,500 first prize. Their entry was deemed most effective in reinforcing for an 11-to-13-year-old audience how engineers improve the quality of life and how engineering can be a creative and rewarding career.  

With two teams of high-school students competing to solve a new engineering challenge each week, “Design Squad” was created by PBS to reach the same 11-to-13-year-old audience. The program is in its third season on PBS with the IEEE continuing funding support.

Additionally, IEEE-USA is awarding $5,000 in scholarship prizes in the second year of its online engineering video competition. Entries must be submitted through YouTube by U.S. undergraduate students in engineering, computer science and information technology no later than 16 January 2009. For more information on how to enter, go to

IEEE-USA Participates in Technology-Enhancement Meeting with Obama Transition Team

WASHINGTON (11 December 2008) — The United States should deploy universal broadband and increase energy efficiency, among other things, to promote economic growth and spur job creation, two IEEE-USA presidents said in a letter presented to President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition team.

IEEE-USA made some of its recommendations in a meeting with four members of Obama’s Science, Technology and Innovation Transition Task Force at AeA’s Washington headquarters on 5 December. IEEE-USA was one of roughly 50 organizations invited to share ideas on what the new administration could do to stimulate the economy within Obama’s first 60 days in office.

“Technology and innovation remain the cornerstone of our nation’s economy,” 2008 IEEE-USA President Russ Lefevre and 2009 President Gordon Day wrote. “Any plan for creating jobs and economic growth begins with encouraging innovation that promotes those new ideas and products and, ultimately, results in jobs.”
IEEE-USA made recommendations in six areas: research & development investments, broadband, health care, energy infrastructure, small business and long-term priorities.

By expanding ubiquitous broadband access into rural areas, more people could compete for technology-based jobs without relocating. Plus, the incentive for high-tech companies to establish operations in these lower-cost areas is enhanced. This helps keep jobs in the United States.

“As with the universal deployment of electricity and telephone service, universal broadband service, coupled with new Internet applications, will generate economic and social gains that far exceed the investment in the enabling infrastructure,” the presidents wrote.

IEEE-USA believes that by investing in such things as Smart Grid technologies, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and clean, renewable energy sources, U.S. energy efficiency will increase.

“We also need to increase our electricity reliability by upgrading our aging national transmission grid,” presidents Lefevre and Day wrote. “These steps can stimulate economic activity, create jobs and ensure that our country has abundant supplies of reliable and affordable electric power.”

The letter is available at