126th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, October 3, 2020 

The IEEE Chicago 126th Annual Fair & Expo is open to the public and free to attend although you must register first. For high-school students contemplating college, this is a chance to talk to enrolled students and working engineers on what it takes to have an engineering career. Virtually all disciplines within the electrical engineering profession are represented by IEEE Chicago Section society chapters where in the breakout rooms, the society chapters will demonstrate and discuss their field of expertise. During the main event, you can listen to professionals on how engineering contributes to the public good and what opportunities exist by having an engineering education. Whether you are a high school student, a university student, an industry professional, academic professional, retired, or love engineering and technology, learn how the Chicago engineering community continues to contribute to society.

126th Anniversary Event Agenda

Start TimeSessionSpeakerSpeaker / Topic Details / Links
9:00 AM Introduction and General WelcomeAlvin Chin, IEEE Chicago 126th General Chair
Val Novosad, IEEE Chicago Section Chair.
Welcome Presentation
9:15 AMIEEE Region 4 WelcomeDavid KoehlerWatch the presentation video
David received his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Indiana University and obtained his M.B.A. He is the Business Development Manager-Professional Services for Doble Engineering Company. He has 21 years of experience in the testing of insulating liquids and management of analytical laboratories. He has provided numerous technical presentations and published technical articles within the power industry. David is the Director for IEEE Region 4, while also serving on the Board of Directors for IEEE. David is a member of the ASTM D-27 Technical Committee on Electrical Insulating Liquids and Gases. In 2011, David was an Executive Committee Member of the Indiana American Chemical Society.
9:30 AMKeynote:
Anita Nikolich, UIUCWatch the presentation video
See the Presentation
Anita Nikolich is a Research Scientist and Director of Research Innovation at the Information School at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She served as Cybersecurity Program Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF), and has spent time in academia, industry and government. She is the co-organizer of the DEFCON AI Village, a hacker co-op that seeks to make the world (and its algorithms) a safer place. She is the Co-PI of FABRIC, a $20M NSF project that will help computer scientists build the next Internet.
10:00 AMSociety presentationsSociety VideosSenior Member
Computer Society
EMC Society
Power and Engineering Society
Vehicular Technology Society
Technology and Engineering Management Society
Nanotechnology Council
Magnetics Society
Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Communications Society
Women In Engineering
Product Safety Engineering Society
Loyola Univerity
Lewis University
Chicago / Rockford Consultant's Network - AICN
Education Committee
Northwest Suburban Subsection
11:00 AMQ&A Sessions 1Discussions in separate breakouts Vehicular Technology
Electro Magnetic Compatibility
Women in Engineering
Education Committee
Life Members
Product Safety Engineering
Lewis University
Engineering in Medicine and Biology
11:30 AMQ&A Sessions 2Discussions in separate breakouts Alliance of IEEE Consultants Networks
Technology and Engineering Management
Science Kits for Public Libraries
Loyola University
Power and Energy
Northwest Suburban Subsection
12:00 PMLunch and social activityAll
12:30 PMIEEE Region 4 Industry Engagement Committee
Jim RiessSee the Presentation
12:45 PMKeynote:
Crisis-Driven Innovation
Mark WerwathWatch the presentation video
1:15 PMSponsor presentation - FutureConKim Hakim
1:20 PMSponsor presentation - S&C Electric CompanyMoira Anderson
1:25 PMSponsor presentation - G&WKellie DePooter
1:30 PMIEEE DayConnie KellySee the Presentation
IEEE Day commemorates that time in 1884 when a group of engineers met in New York and decided to continue to meet regularly to share information and further the profession. Join the celebration and learn about the various offers and contests IEEE has to offer.

Connie Kelly joined IEEE as an IIT student shortly after IEEE was formed in the sixties. Over the years she has had a strong relationship with IEEE serving on several Medical Standards Projects and was a founding member of the Standards Association. In addition to presenting numerous technical papers both in and out of IEEE, She has served as Chair of the Chicago Chapter of Engineering in Medicine and Biology, Chair of the Chicago Section, and was a member of the IEEE National Engineers’ Week Committee during the year it was the national lead organization. She currently serves as the Northwest Subsection Chair, Education Chair for Chicago Section, on the Humanitarian Activities Grant Review Panel, Region 4 K-12 Activity Coordinator, and the Region 4 lead for 2020 IEEE Day. She was instrumental in creating the Virtual Senior Elevation Panel program which started out as NWSS and is now being rolled out world-wide. She is the local coordinator for EPICS in IEEE K-12 and TryEngineering Together.
1:45 PMChicago Engineers FoundationDebbie BirrellSee the Presentation
Debbie Birrell is the Executive Director of the Chicago Engineers Foundation, and about to celebrate her 4th year with CEF, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring and empowering Chicago’s future engineers. She is not an engineer, but Debbie has more than 20 years’ experience working in the nonprofit sector. She has held positions ranging from program services and volunteer coordination to fundraising and executive management. Debbie's educational background includes a bachelor's degree in Political Science from DePaul University and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from North Park University. She is a life-long resident of the Chicagoland area, and lives in the south suburbs of Chicago with her husband Jim and daughter Allison. Most of Debbie’s career has involved working with students of all ages and she is honored to be working with, and supporting, the next generation of engineers.
2:00 PMIEEE Chicago HistoryGeorge ThomasSee the Presentation
2:15 PMIntroduction to the Real Time Communications Lab and its activitiesCarol DavidsSee the Presentation
This short presentation will highlight the diverse activities hosted by Illinois Tech's Real Time Communications Lab. Professor Carol Davids, the lab's founder and director will describe the upcoming RTC Conference as well as TADHack, IPTComm, NENA/EENA Industry Collaboration Events, Panel Discussion series on Technology and Social Justice, and some recent lab projects. The lab is grateful for the Chicago Section’s sponsorship of the RTC Conference and in particular of the IoT Track, whose co-chairs are members of the Section, and for the IPTComm conference-within-a-conference which enjoys the technical sponsorship of the Section.
2:30 PMIEEE Chicago Section AwardsMegan CzachOutstanding Young Engineer Award - Saba Khalid
Friends of IEEE Chicago Section Award - Shure, Inc.
Distinguished Mentoring Award - Dennis Barfuss
Outstanding Section Member Award - Louann Mlekodaj
Distinguished Officer Award - Dr. Alvin Chin
Distinguished R&D Award - Dr. Yi Li
Life-time Service Award - Prof. Carol Davids
Certificate of Appreciation - Peter Salerno, Rob Klein, Besma Smida
Certificate of Appreciation to the 126th Anniversary Celebration Committee - Alvin Chin, Gina Martinez, Dave Hendrickson, Dana Al-Qadi, Elsa Madrigal, Mattewos Tefferi, Lauren White, Robert Hernandez, Steve Michaels, Matt Cavelli, Megan Czach
2:45 PMClosing and RaffleAlvin Chin, General Chair

Conference Committee

  • General Chair: Alvin Chin
  • Vice Chair: Gina Martinez
  • IEEE Region 4 Representative: Dave Hendrickson
  • Advisory Chair: Dana Al-Qadi
  • Program Chair: Elsa Madrigal
  • Publicity Chair: Mattewos Tefferi
  • Registration Chair: Lauren White
  • Exhibit Chairs: Gina Martinez and Robert Hernandez
  • Sponsor/Donor Chair: Steve Michaels
  • Student Activities Chair: Matt Cavelli
  • Awards Chair: Megan Czach

IEEE, the largest technical organization in the world, was formed in 1963 with the merging of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers. In 1894, the first Chicago Section meeting was held at the Armour Institute, now known as Illinois Institute of Technology. The Chicago Section was only the second section created after the New Jersey section.

Last year, on April 27, 2019, the Chicago section held its 125th anniversary at the same location the first meeting was held 125 years ago. The event was a great success, and as a result, the section has decided to turn this event into an annual opportunity for various IEEE Chicago section entities to get together, showcase their activities, and attract potential Chicago Section Members and Student Branch Members. Most importantly, the event is intended to encourage Middle and High school students to pursue their interest in the STEM fields.

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