Speaker Biographies

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Friday, March 31

Venkataramanan "Ragu" Balakrishnan
Michael and Katherine Birck Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University
Opening Remarks

Venkataramanan (Ragu) Balakrishnan was born in India. He received the B.Tech. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering and the President of India Gold Medal from The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India in 1985, graduating at the top of the University. He received the M.S. degree in Statistics in 1992, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering, in 1989 and 1992 respectively, all from Stanford University. From September 1992 to February 1993, he was a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the Information Systems Laboratory in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. From February 1993 to August 1993, he was a Post-Doctoral Scholar and a Lecturer at the California Institute of Technology. From September 1993 to August 1994 he was a Research Associate at the Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland. Since August 1994, he has been on the faculty in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, where is currently the Michael and Katherine Birck Head and Professor. For the 1999-2000 academic year, Professor Balakrishnan served as the Interim Director of Graduate Admissions for the School of ECE. During the 2003-2004 academic year, he served as the Assistant Head of ECE for strategic initiatives, as well as the Director of Graduate Admissions. From 2004-2007, he served as the Associate Head of ECE. From August 2007 through April 2010, he served as the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering at Purdue. He served as the Interim Head of the School of ECE from January 2009 through April 2010, since when he has been serving as the Head of the School of ECE. In 2012, he was named the first Michael and Katherine Birck Head of ECE.

Bill Oakes
Director of EPICS
Keynote Speaker: EPICS in IEEE

Bill Oakes is the Co-Director of the EPICS Program and one of the founding faculty members of the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He is a leader in service-learning at the university and K-12 level, conducting more than 70 workshops, publishing articles and contributing to nine books including co-authoring the first text for engineering service-learning. He was the first engineer to receive the U.S. Campus Compact’s Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning. He was a co-recipient of the National Academy of Engineering’s Bernard Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Educating, recipient of the National Society of Professional Engineers’ Educational Excellence Award and recipient of the American Society for Engineering Education’s Chester Carlson Award for Excellence. He is a fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education and the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Ray Alcantara
Program Manager, EPICS in IEEE
Keynote Speaker: EPICS in IEEE

Ray Alcantara joined IEEE in 2015 as the Program Manager for EPICS in IEEE. In this role, he is primarily responsible for managing the planning, strategic implementation and delivery of the overall EPICS in IEEE Program. Ray is responsible for identifying and developing new opportunities and partnerships to support the strategic direction of the program, as well as collaborating and maintaining relationships with numerous external and internal partners to maximize the global impact of EPICS in IEEE. He is also responsible for supporting the volunteer committees of EPICS in IEEE and, in cooperation with the IEEE Foundation, developing and executing an effective and multi-faceted communications plan for EPICS in IEEE that integrates into the IEEE Foundation’s overall communications and marketing plan.

Prior to joining IEEE, Ray worked at the College of Saint Elizabeth as Program Director for the DePaul Center for Mission & Ministry where he managed credit and non-credit certificate programs and yearly events. Ray also brings to IEEE over a decade of experience in government and politics. He has created, organized, and directed political outreach programs throughout the United States. Ray has served in the administration of a NJ Governor, as a research associate for the New Jersey General Assembly, and for a time served as a Commissioner on the New Jersey Asian American Heritage Commission. Ray holds a bachelor’s degree from Rowan University.

Saturday, April 1

Timothy Kurzweg
President, IEEE-HKN Board of Governors
Welcome Keynote

Dr. Timothy P. Kurzweg is currently an Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. In the summer of 1999, he worked at Microcosm (now Coventor), in Cambridge, MA, and developed an optical methodology to interface within their system-level analysis tool enabling optical MEM simulation. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Army CERDEC, Pennsylvania Department of Health, and private industry.

Aaron Novelle
IEEE-HKN Activities Program Manager
Lunch Speaker

Michael Benson
Student Representative, IEEE-HKN Board of Governors
Lunch Speaker and Session Speaker

Michael Benson is a PhD candidate in the University of Michigan’s Radiation Laboratory. A 2009 recipient of NASA’s Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship, Michael studies multimodal remote sensing of the environment with a focus on radar.

During his tenure at Michigan, Michael has been actively engaged in his community having chaired his Department’s inaugural graduate research poster symposium in 2009 as well as serving three elected terms as the President of the University of Michigan’s graduate student body and two terms of the nationwide Student Advocates for Graduate Education.

Since initiating into Eta Kappa Nu, Michael has held a variety of leadership positions within the Beta-Epsilon chapter including serving as a mentor for potential new members (electees), serving in numerous committee chair positions, and serving as an officer of the chapter as an advisor for the past three years. In addition to his work within his chapter, Michael also served as the general co-chair of the IEEE-HKN 2016 Student Leadership Conference in Ann Arbor, MI.

Kirk St.Amant
Professor and Eunice C. Williamson Endowed Chair of Technical Communication, Louisiana Tech University (USA), Adjunct Professor of International Health and Medical Communication, University of Limerick (Ireland)
Keynote Speaker: Global Communications

Kirk St.Amant is a Professor and the Eunice C. Williamson Endowed Chair in Technical Communication at Louisiana Tech University (USA), and he is also an Adjunct Professor of International Health and Medical Communication with the University of Limerick (Ireland). His main research interests are international communication and information design for global audiences with a particular focus on the globalization of online education and health and medical communication for international audiences. Kirk has worked on international projects for companies such as Medtronic, VERITAS Software, the Braun Corporation, and Unisys, and for the non-profit organizations the Humanitarian Demining Information Center (HDIC) and the Consortium for the Enhancement of Ukrainian Management Education (CEUME). Kirk is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC), and serves on the editorial board for the STC journal Technical Communication. Kirk is currently the vice-chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)’s Special Interest Group on Design of Communication (SIGDOC), and he is also the editor of the organization’s peer-reviewed research publication Communication Design Quarterly. Kirk is a past president of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC) and a past member of the Administrative (Executive) Committee of the IEEE Professional Communication Society (IEEE PCS). He is also the editor of the recent books Teaching and Training for Global Engineering: Perspectives on Culture and Professional Communication Practices and Culture, Communication, and Cyberspace: Rethinking Technical Communication for International Online Environments.

Madelyn Flammia
Associate Professor of English, College of Arts and Humanities, University of Central Florida
Keynote Speaker: Global Communications

Madelyn Flammia is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in technical communication. Her research interests include international technical communication, global citizenship, and virtual teams. Madelyn is the co-author of Virtual Teams in Higher Education: A Handbook for Students and Teachers and the co-editor of Teaching and Training for Global Engineering: Perspectives on Culture and Professional Communication Practices. She has given presentations on intercultural communication and on global virtual teams at professional conferences and for corporate audiences. Madelyn was the recipient of a 2014 National Council of Teachers of English Technical and Scientific Communication Award for the best article on pedagogy or curriculum in scientific and technical communication. She has been selected to receive the 2017 Society for Technical Communication Jay R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication.

Hattie Larson
WISE Alumnus
Session Speaker: WISE

Hattie Larson, a Florida State University graduate, participated in the WISE program in 2010. Her time spent in the internship was focused on oil spill disasters and the response measures taken to mitigate their effects. Following her graduation, she began a career in the manufacturing world at Ascend Performance Materials, a producer of Nylon 6,6. She has her Six Sigma Green Belt Certification and is working on her Six Sigma Black Belt. Her role at Ascend is now as the Operational Excellence leader for the Pensacola site.

Phi Nguyen
WISE Alumnus
Session Speaker: WISE

Phi Nguyen participated in the WISE program in 2010. Her research focused on the early impacts of hydraulic fracturing. Following the WISE program, Phi graduated from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. She also holds a a Master’s degree in Energy Science, Technology and Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the University of Texas-Arlington with an MBA. She is currently a Fatigue and Fracture Analysis engineer at Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, Texas.

Matthew Swabey
Director, Bechtel Innovation Design Center
Session Speaker: Occupations in Academia

Matthew A. Swabey was born in London, U.K. He received the B.Eng. degree (with honors) in electrical and electronic engineering in 2001, and the Ph.D. degree in electronic engineering from the University of Southampton, Southampton, U.K., in 2006.

He has held multiple research fellow positions and became Teaching Fellow in 2011 at the University of Southampton, U.K. He won the Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award in 2007 for “Engineering Chip Design” where every EE student participated in chip design, layout and after fabrication testing as part of the curriculum. He was part of the foundation of the ARM-ECS Industry University Center in 2008 and developed the 65nm LP flows which were used for seven multicore research prototype System on Chips. He also supported the implementation of the research in four of the System on Chips before leaving for Purdue, USA.

He is currently the Director of the Bechtel Innovation Design Center being built at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA and a researcher with the ARM-ECS Industry University Center, University of Southampton, Southampton, U.K. As Director he is committed to outfitting the building and opening the Bechtel IDC for Fall 2017. The Bechtel Innovation Design center is a three story building on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus combining CNC manufacturing, 3D printing, CAD/CAM, electronics and surface prep and paint to be a true multidisciplinary center for student projects.

Dan Jiao
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University; Former Intel Engineer
Session Speaker: Occupations in Academia

Dan Jiao received her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in October 2001. She then worked at the Technology CAD Division, Intel Corporation, until September 2005, as a Senior CAD Engineer, Staff Engineer (very early promotion), and Senior Staff Engineer (very early promotion). In September 2005, she joined Purdue University as an Assistant Professor with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, where she became a tenured Associate Professor in 2009, and a Professor in 2013. She has authored three book chapters and over 220 papers in refereed journals and international conferences. At Intel, she was responsible for a number of original algorithms in high-frequency VLSI CAD such as "Electromagnetic solutions for full-chip Analysis" (US patent No. 7,509,247). Many of her developments have been acknowledged as BKM (Best Known Method) CAD tools across Intel. Her current research interests include computational electromagnetics, modeling and simulation of micro- and nano-scale integrated circuits, high-speed VLSI circuit design and analysis, high-performance VLSI CAD, applied electromagnetics, signal and power integrity, fast and high-capacity numerical methods, scattering and antenna analysis, and bio-electromagnetics.

Tim Rogers
Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University
Session Speaker: Occupations in Academia

Todd Wild
Industrial Design Projects Manager, Purdue University
Session Speaker: Occupations in Academia

Todd finished his undergrad in 2013 with a B.S. in Computer Engineering. After that Todd worked in laboratory maintenance for Purdue's ECE department where he started his efforts in developing a lab that undergraduates could use for advanced manufacturing. in 2014 Todd started to co-lecture the electrical engineering senior design course (ECE 402). In 2015 Todd changed positions to become the electrical engineering Industrial Design Project Manager, a position that would lead him into working on several high-profile projects. In 2016 Todd took over as the head lecturer for ECE 402. Today, Todd runs the ECE senior design and manages all senior design teams that are sponsored by industry.

Cortland Starrett
Founder and CEO, OneFact, Inc.
Session Speaker: Entrepreneurship Panel

Cortland is a Purdue University engineer (EE ’88), entrepreneur, teacher and engineering manager. His career started at IBM developing embedded controllers for disk drive arrays where he began modeling using Structured Analysis and Structured Design (SA/SD) and then Shlaer-Mellor Object Oriented Analysis (pre-xtUML). His team delivered the first-ever-at-IBM OOA-modeled product with true code generation. He worked 7 years at Bioanalytical Systems, Inc. establishing a foundation of embedded software control for a range of electrochemical and biomechanical instruments many of which are in use today. During this time Starrett pioneered C model translation of xtUML and founded ROX Software Inc to deliver this technology to the commercial world through Project Technology Inc. Mentor Graphics acquired this technology and asked Starrett to grow it within Mentor, which he did for 10 years. Cortland is now founder and president of One Fact Inc.

Kyle McNulty
Co-Founder and CEO, Perceive, Inc.
Session Speaker: Entrepreneurship Panel

Kyle McNulty is a Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Perceive Inc., a Purdue-based startup that helps retailers measure and understand more about their in-store shopper. Kyle holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and has co-authored three papers in the areas of multimedia systems, focusing on applications for large-scale, distributed video analysis. Previously, Kyle has worked at Garmin and as a research assistant at Purdue University. Outside of academia, McNulty has spent four years working with a Purdue team on the development of a Kindle-like device for people who are blind.

Janet Goings
Associate Director/Lab Groud Manager, Human Systems Experience/GM Research and Development, General Motors Corporation
Session Speaker: Entrepreneurship Panel

Janet has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University and the University of Michigan respectively. She has worked at General Motors in a wide variety of assignments since her freshman year in college when she entered Purdue’s co-op program. Her assignments have included development of advanced automotive control systems such as active suspensions and four wheel steering, new vehicle concept development, OnStar launch, strategic planning, marketing, recruiting, and diversity programs. Her current assignment is leading GM’s efforts in advanced user centered design, design innovation, and advanced HMI development in GM’s Research & Development labs. She holds a bunch of patents and has been the recipient of awards for her work in technology and innovation.

Janet has been active in campus recruiting at Purdue for longer than you’ve been alive. She was also engaged in the creation of employee resource groups at GM, serving on the boards of the Women’s and LGBTQ groups.

Outside of work, Janet’s attention deficit disorder leads her to new technology exploration, classic car restoration, addiction to an eclectic collection of podcasts and ebooks, movies, hiking, travel, yoga, and meditation. She’s been married to her Purdue sweetheart, Scott,for 34 years and is the proud mom of 2nd generation Boilermaker, Alex. Kevin the cat also demands attention and food from her on a regular basis.

Fun Fact: Janet appeared in an episode of NASA’s Sci-Files show (The case of the radical ride) that aired on PBS.

Kevin Webb
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University
Session Speaker: Biophotonics: From Basic Research to Human Health

Nadra Guizani
Chair, 2017 Student Leadership Conference
Session Speaker: HKN Leadership and Scholarship Discussion

Chair HKN SLC 2017. PhD student and Graduate lecturer at Purdue University. Completing a Thesis in Prediction and Access Control of Disease Spread Data on Dynamic Network Topologies. Research interests include machine learning, mobile networking, large data analysis and prediction techniques. Active member in both Women in Engineering Program and Computing Research Association for Women.

Sutton Hathorn
President, HKN Beta Chapter
Session Speaker: HKN Leadership and Scholarship Discussion

Dennis Ogbe
Former President, HKN Beta Chapter
Session Speaker: HKN Leadership and Scholarship Discussion

Dennis served as President of Beta Chapter during Fall 2015 and Spring 2016.

Stephen Larew
HKN Beta Chapter Treasurer Emeritus
Session Speaker: HKN Leadership and Scholarship Discussion

Stephen served as Treasurer of Beta Chapter during 2011, Fall 2015, and Spring 2016. He has also served as volunteer director. As part of the 2017 SLC committee, he gathered corporate sponsorships and was the point-of-contact for sponsors.

Dan Toland
Director, IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Program
Session Speaker: Awards, Scholarships, and Support Panel

Ron Jensen
Region 3 & 4 Governor, IEEE-HKN Board of Governors
Session Speaker: Awards, Scholarships, and Support Panel

Ron Jensen received the BSEE from Iowa State University and MSEE from Syracuse University and completed Ph.D. courses from the University of Minnesota. He held IBM positions in semiconductor process, chip development, and semiconductor applications, followed by system design, systems architecture and project management. He was lead through various management positions. He led in the development of IBM families of computers and servers. He recently retired as Chief Engineering Manager with a team of people across three geographies covering IBM server hardware and software. Jensen is a member of Eta Kappa Nu and PMI, and a certified PMP. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society, Technology Management Council and WIE. He is presently consulting with and coaching organizations.

Ron's professional interests are in system architecture, embedded systems, technical education, technical management, strategic planning and the use of the web, collaboration tools and social networking to build a professional environment.

Sara Jordan
Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Tech
Session Speaker: Artificial Intelligence and Ethically Aligned Design

Dr. Sara R. Jordan is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Tech. Her research sits at the interface of ethics and high consequence technologies research and development, such as AI and pharmaceutical R&D. Sara is a Member of The IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems and the IEEE P7000 Working Group. An avid kayaker and canoeist, when she is not on the water, Sara can be contacted at: srjordan@vt.edu.

Héctor Enrique Rodríguez-Simmonds
Graduate Student in Engineering Education, Purdue University
Session Speaker: Intersectionality in Engineering

Héctor Enrique Rodríguez-Simmonds is currently a PhD student in Engineering Education at Purdue University. His undergrad and master’s degrees are in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His current research interests gravitate around exploring the experiences of LGBTQ+ engineering undergraduate and graduate students in the United States. He’s passionate about getting to know people’s stories and bringing to the forefront how the different assemblages of our identities influence and interact with the constructed material world around us.

In his most recent research, he teases apart how pragmatism and getting a task completed can take precedence over considering the person doing the work and the diversity they bring to the table. The mind/body (Cartesian) social/technical split practiced in engineering problem solving can reduce the importance of the person in the solutions they create for others and contributes to a negative climate for underrepresented individuals. Especially in engineering, the tension between the perceived un-importance of human, social concerns and technically rigorous domains in the development of an applied, realistic solution is not an easy “problem to solve.” Héctor enjoys many divergent conversations and enjoys discussing everything from learning theories to computer architecture to anthropology to how to make his moped go faster.

Rui Costa
Founder and Coordinator, IEEE Academic
Session Speaker: IEEE Academic

Rui Costa holds an MSc in Networks and Communications Engineering from the Technical University of Lisbon and is currently the Managing Director of Veniam in the USA. Rui joined Veniam as lead cloud engineer, later serving as Director of Product, helping Veniam build and deliver the Internet of Moving Things, by connecting vehicles to each other and to the Internet. Now, Rui heads Veniam USA helping the company expand its footprint in North America.<\p>

Rui started his volunteer work for IEEE in 2011, having participated in a number of committees in the Portuguese Section, Region 8, and globally. Additionally, Rui helped in the creation number of projects in IEEE such as the TISP 2.0, IEEE-IST TV, and IEEE Academic, an online platform to promote and distribute multilingual online educational content, for free. Rui currently serves as a member of the EAB SERC committee and is the 2017 IEEE.tv Advisory Committee Chair.<\p>

In his spare time, Rui enjoys playing guitar, reading about technology, and challenging himself in sports.

Richard House
Past President, IEEE Professional Communication Society
Session Speaker: Direct, Current: Professional Communication with Power

Richard House is Professor of English at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where he teaches courses in literature as well as in the rhetoric and culture of engineering and science. He studies communication and liberal education for engineers and scientists, with special interest and numerous publications in communication ethics and the social contexts of engineering and technology. With Richard Layton, Jessica Livingston, and Sean Moseley, he is author of The Engineering Communication Manual(Oxford University Press, 2016). He is Past President of the IEEE Professional Communication Society and remains a member of its board.