Greetings, fellow IEEE section members.

This is a follow on to my open letter issued in mid-March at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak. At that time, there were an overwhelming number of unknowns related to this virus. In that determining risk was impossible, and there was a mandated business downturn imminent, our executive committee made what was really the only practical decision to suspend regular section activities. Our meetings for March through May were cancelled. This included this year’s award-winning engineering student project presentations, an annual highlight normally held in April.

Not only were the students unable to present to us in person, but due to campus closures, the teams submitted their projects remotely (streamed or recorded). The winners were selected by the various university engineering faculty committees, and our section made its customary awards to the winning teams. These student presentations are generally highly interesting and worthy of promotion as part of IEEE’s basic mission. To that end, I am listing the following links to the student presentations…

Miami University…
Wireless Power Transfer Security (Advisor: Prof. Dmitriy Garmatyuk; Students: Austin Patrick, Xinyue Zhou, Rafe Qiao and Jiekang Xu)
Predistortion of RF Communication Signals (Advisor: Prof. David Hartup; Students: Kevin Doench, Andrew Haidet, Rachel Kevdzija and Becca Kheiry)

University of Cincinnati…
A Cross-Layer Adaptive Video Communications Solution Over SDR (Advisor: ; Students: Yiling Fu, Sunmeng Lin)
Music Maker (Advisor: Dr. Carla Purdy; Students: Adam Tait, Jason Judis, John Rose, Eric Gatto)
Luvie: an LGBT Inclusive Healthcare Marketplace (Advisor: Dr. Ossman; Student: Dillon Dragomir)
The Recyclable Separator (Advisor: Dr. Max Rabiee; Students: Skylor Stewart, Micah Tawney)

Now, as for moving forward, we plan to resume our normal section meetings schedule starting this September when Dr. Gorsuch will be presenting on the “IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems.” The meeting notice is posted on the Cincinnati IEEE website and registration will commence on 9/11. The venue, as has been customary, will be Raffel’s (Evendale, OH). In keeping with current health guidelines, Raffel’s has adopted several new practices related to hygiene. These include reduction in capacity, use of larger space for meetings, increased seat/table spacings, and rigorous sanitation regimens between events. In addition, the staff will be wearing masks and gloves when interacting with guests. While meals will still be served buffet style, the staff will dish all food such that guests do not handle any serving utensils. Social distancing and use of masks is advised according to any guidelines in place at time meeting is held. Finally, and at time of check-in, the body temperature of each attendee will be non-invasively scanned as a screening measure.

Whether you believe this crisis is real or has been overblown, I believe it is high time to get on with our lives. We now know enough about this contagion to recognize its actual risk (relative to all of the other risks we face daily without complaint or consternation) and take appropriate precautions.

Looking forward to seeing you in September!

Jay Perin
Section Chair, IEEE Cincinnati