Ignacio Castillo Tours El Salvador

By Carlos Eugenio Martínez-Cruz - El Salvador Chapter Chair

The always tireless Prof. Ignacio Castillo, Secretary of the IEEE ComSoc Latin America Board, was invited by the IEEE El Salvador Section for what was supposed to be a one hour talk. But this turned into a visit to two of our major universities, a talk to dozens of IEEE Salvadoran past section chairs, and a two-day seminar on data centers.

We discovered that Ignacio never says no when asked to volunteer for work. First, he was contacted to give a talk about smart grid at one of our major industry national conferences. Then he was asked if he could give a talk at our IEEE Section 30th anniversary and two-day seminar. He said yes to everything. Those who heard his first talk were impressed, and faculty members demanded to take him to their own campuses. Again, he could not say no and agreed to visit the universities. Two trips were scheduled: one to the University of Sonsonate, and another to Don Bosco University.

IEEE Section 30th Anniversary: On July 20, after finishing his two-day seminar on data centers, at IEEE Section 30th anniversary ceremony, Ignacio gave a special talk on smart cities. The IEEE El Salvador Section was founded in 1986 but its origin goes back to 1972, as a subsection of IEEE Central America. More than 20 past Section Chairs were recognized with special IEEE pins. It was a very emotional ceremony. Ignacio gave the ceremony a high tech, high academic touch. As the ceremony assembled people from so many different ages and so many different backgrounds, so does the concept of smart cities assemble so many different technologies and so many different engineering developments. That was what Ignacio was able to show: a whole body of different technologies forming a complex system that makes life easier and safer. At the end of the ceremony, during cocktails, a meeting for the next day to Don Bosco University was scheduled.

IEEE-USO Student Branch and professor Ignacio Castillo.

Meeting with Engineering Professors at Don Bosco University: The Universidad Don Bosco (UDB) is located in the suburbs of Soyapango City, approximately 15 kms east of San Salvador. Its College of Engineering has more than 2,000 students. The IEEEUDB Student Branch has five student chapters, and among them they have a ComSoc Chapter. Ignacio met faculty at the College of Engineering Dean’s Office. Several collaboration issues were discussed. Ignacio is a very energetic speaker, and the meeting lasted until very close to noon. From Don Bosco University Ignacio travelled to give what was supposed to be his only talk in El Salvador.

Ignacio Castillo and Vice Chair Carlos Martínez.

Talk on Smart Grid at the 3th Energy Congress: On July 21, at around two o’clock in the afternoon, Ignacio delivered his talk. The Salvadoran Industry Association (ASI) organized the third Regional Energy Congress. Companies in the sector discussed the state of the regional electricity market, and power and energy management. Ignacio’s main thesis was that smart cities will require smart grid. He emphasized that a variety of operational and energy measures, including smart meters, smart appliances, renewable energy, and energy efficiency resources, need to be incorporated into the electric grid.

Cyber Security Talk at the University of SonSonate: On July 22, Ignacio ended his tour in Sonsonate, where he discussed the Origins and Current Trends in Cyber Security. The University of Sonsonate (USO), located in the city of Sonsonate, the capital of the same department, is approximately 60 kms west of San Salvador. Its campus is home to more than 1,000 students. USO’s College of Engineers offer four majors, with computer science the biggest. The IEEE-USO student branch is mainly formed by a young and dynamic group of computer science students. From San Salvador, a small bus brought IEEE student members from three other universities. A total of 60 students and five professors attended the meeting. After the talk, Ignacio was invited to lunch by faculty members. In the afternoon he returned to San Salvador.