Making San Diego Better Off: From Antenna Workshop to Science Fair

By Liangping Ma - InterDigital Communications, Inc., IEEE ComSoc San Diego Chapter Chair, USA

Like any other IEEE ComSoc chapter, we, the San Diego ComSoc chapter, are part of a much larger community, professionals in electrical engineering and computer science who may or may not be IEEE members, as well as young students who will become the next generation of electrical engineers and computer scientists. We strongly believe that the better off the larger community, the better off the IEEE. While serving IEEE members, we reach out to offer training opportunities to non-member professionals and to inspire the growth of young students (high school students and below).

Lawrence Hamerman (fourth from the right), Member-at-Large of IEEE San Diego Section, shown with the Science Fair awardees..

In 2017, as a key part of our tradition, we continued to bring world-class researchers and professionals to our members. On June 12, in collaboration with the Vehicular Technology Society (VTS) chapter, chaired by Dr. Byung K. Yi, CTO of InterDigital, we invited Prof. Shiwen Mao of Auburn University, an IEEE VTS Distinguished Lecturer, to present his recent research on contact- free vital sign measurement for the healthcare Internet of Things. Besides theory and implementation, Prof. Mao gave a live demonstration of a smartphone app, which made the event very engaging to the audience.

As part of our year 2017 outreach effort, we worked closely with Jason Geurts of ANSYS Inc., a major computer-aided engineering software development company, and organized a handson interactive workshop on antenna design on April 26. Arien Sligar, lead application engineer of ANSYS, showed the ease, speed and accuracy of combining a high frequency structural simulator (HFSS) and the shooting and bouncing rays methodology (SBR+) in the new ANSYS Electronics Desktop platform to study electrically large scenes. The workshop was enjoyable and rewarding to many in the audience.

Arien Sligar, lead application engineer of ANSYS, shown teaching at the antenna hands-on workshop.

We further reached out to young students, mainly high school students and middle school students in the greater San Diego area. We leveraged the annual Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair, which had 578 participating projects in 2017. The IEEE San Diego Section formed an award committee, led by Lawrence Hamerman, Member-at-Large of the IEEE San Diego Section. I was also on the committee, as the ComSoc chapter chair. The committee reviewed all projects, interviewed many participants, and selected six projects for an award of $200 per awardee. The award committee also provided valuable suggestions on how to improve the quality and impact of the projects.

The accomplishments were the result of the hard work of the IEEE San Diego ComSoc chapter and the section, with the generous support of corporate sponsors. Together, we are making the greater San Diego community better off.