February 2010 – IEEE News

Oncor Senior Vice President to Discuss His Company’s Smart Grid Initiative
at IEEE Green Technology Conference in Grapevine, Texas

WASHINGTON (25 January 2010) — Oncor Senior Vice President Jim Greer will be a keynote speaker at the second annual IEEE Green Technology Conference, 15-16 April, at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. Greer, who oversees asset management and engineering for Oncor, will be a luncheon speaker on 16 April.

As the architect of Oncor’s Smart Grid technology initiative, Greer is a good match for the event’s focus on new technologies to promote conservation, renewable energy and automation. Oncor, a national leader in installing advanced meter technology, will install 3.4 million smart meters and the information technology systems supporting real-time reporting of energy use by 2012. Greer is overseeing this transformation of Oncor’s transmission and distribution business through technology.

“IEEE members are the innovators who will come up with the great ideas and the new approaches that will help society transition to a more sustainable and efficient approach to energy use,” Greer said. “I’m looking forward to discussing Oncor’s own vision for the future, the Smart Texas initiative, which is creating an interactive, two-way electric grid that speaks to both Oncor and the consumer, providing real-time information about energy use.”

Greer, an active member of IEEE, is responsible for developing strategies, policies and plans that improve the value and performance of Oncor’s electric grid. He has worked for Oncor and its predecessor companies since 1984 and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and a master’s of business administration from Texas Christian University. He is a licensed professional engineer and serves on the Texas State Board of Professional Engineers.

Oncor, based in Dallas, is host utility for the conference (http://www.ieeegreentech.org/).

IEEE members and engineering students from throughout the United States are expected to attend the conference to explore emerging technologies in renewable energy, alternative fuel, alternative vehicle power sources and technologies to promote energy conservation in the home and business. The event will also look at the social, economic and political impacts of renewable energy sources, as well as the social and economic impact of new technologies.

“There has never been a better time for IEEE, together with the university research community, architectural, engineering and other technical professionals to weigh in on environmentally friendly alternatives and improvements to our traditional energy economy,” said Ed Safford, conference technical program chair. “Wind farms are driving grid infrastructure. Emerging solar technologies are rapidly approaching cost competitiveness. Sustainable designs are providing effective ways to achieve energy efficiency, and green building certifications are becoming business discriminators.”

No Significant Improvement in Fourth Quarter Engineering and Computer Jobs Data

WASHINGTON (26 January 2010) — After two quarters of small job increases for U.S. electrical and electronics engineers (EEs), their levels of employment retreated 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to data released by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The EE unemployment rate fell from 7.3 percent in the third quarter to 5.2 percent in the fourth.

“Viewed together, these results are discouraging,” IEEE-USA Past President Gordon Day said. “The recent growth in EE employment has stalled and the improvement in the unemployment rate is entirely on the unemployed side. It appears that EEs who lost their jobs in early 2009 are taking jobs in other fields or giving up on their job searches.”

Some engineering fields fared better, some worse. Averaged across all engineers, quarter to quarter employment was essentially flat. The same was true for computer disciplines. In both cases, the unemployment rate decreased, from 5.9 percent to 5.3 percent for engineers and from 6 percent to 4.6 percent for computer professionals.

“Engineers create jobs, so improvements in engineering employment data is a leading indicator of overall job recovery,” Day said. “These data do not reflect the job recovery we were hoping for.”

Unemployed and at-risk IEEE members can find help at http://www.ieeeusa.org/careers/help/.

Career enhancement resources are available at http://www.ieeeusa.org/careers/.

IEEE-USA E-Book Series — “Doing Innovation: Creating Economic Value” — Is Complete

WASHINGTON (29 January 2010) — IEEE-USA’s e-book series, “Doing Innovation: Creating Economic Value” has been completed with the work, “What It Takes To Be an Innovator.”

Written by Gus Gaynor, a retired 3M director of engineering, it looks at “the critical element in innovation — the innovator.”  Gaynor provides a picture of what an innovator could and should bring to an organization, including characteristics and attitudes. He also discusses some famous innovators.

The other e-book titles in the series are:

Book 1: “Perspectives on Innovation,” which gives an understanding of what innovation is and how it takes place.

Book 2: “Developing a Workable Innovation Process” emphasizes designing the innovation process from a systems perspective.

Book 3: “Fostering an Innovation Culture” provides the fundamentals for developing a culture that supports innovation.

Collect all four books in the “Doing Innovation” series and be well-versed in the ways of the innovator.

You can purchase your copy of “Doing Innovation: Creating Economic Value — Book 4: What it Takes To Be an Innovator” at www.ieeeusa.org/communications/ebooks for the IEEE member price: $9.95. The nonmember price is $19.95.

IEEE members can purchase other IEEE-USA E-Books at deeply discounted prices — and download some for free.

To purchase IEEE members-only products and receive the member discount on eligible products, members must log in with their IEEE Web account.

CALL FOR AUTHORS: If you’ve got an idea for an e-book that will educate other IEEE members and high-tech professionals on a particular career topic, e-mail your idea to IEEE-USA Publishing Manager Georgia C. Stelluto at g.stelluto@ieee.org.