Roving reporter Bob Scolli here, reporting on the 4th IEEE Green Technology Conference in Tulsa, Okla., hosted by IEEE Region 5, IEEE-USA, and the IEEE Tulsa Section, on 19-20th April.
Tulsa is a wonderful place to visit in the spring--especially the immaculate Oral Roberts Campus. Upon arrival, my wife, Mary Lou, and I walked through its rolling hills of grass, flower gardens and trees surrounded by varying architectural building styles. We stopped at the prayer tower to appreciate and investigate its unique design. Canadian Geese were roaming the lawns. From the creek bridge, we also noticed a group of Mallard ducklings following their mother. And the squirrels were darting around looking for handouts. The roses, irises and many different pansies were in full bloom throughout the city and its many parks. Tulsa is a beautiful city.
And with companies like Boeing, Baker Hughes and Clean Energy, Applied Materials and Omega Beef, and support from ConocoPhillips Petroleum--Tulsa was also an exceptional place to hold this year’s IEEE Green Technologies Conference.
So who were some of the members that attended? And why did they attend?
The first person I met that Thursday morning was 2008-2009 Region 5 Director David Pierce, and his wonderful bride, Brenda. When I asked Pierce why he took time off from work and paid to attend the conference, he responded:
"I attended the IEEE Green Technologies Conferences to learn about current green technologies research and sustainable application feasibility. The conference provided a forum for open and honest discussions on green technology research, development and practical applications. The speakers presented current green and clean energy applications, as well as planned future developments. Many of the papers addressed the feasibility and sustainability of green technology applications. Nanotechnology materials research into improving and reducing the production cost of thermoelectric materials was interesting for application in converting waste heat into electricity. Studies of the market potential of harvesting of offshore wave energy appear to be a promising application."
The next person I met was retired Lockheed Martin engineer and IEEE Life Member, Jim Phillips. I was surprised to hear he was here (like a postman on a holiday walking) trying to stay relevant in our fast changing world. Phillips was also looking to network about new technologies, as well as promote his company's efforts to reduce the cost, design and implementation of school security systems.
On my way to the first track presentation on Thursday, I met Paul Frenger, from Houston's Rice University. Frenger was very interested in networking in Bioengineering, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics field, and to collaborate in the conference’s future activities.
Then came David Brown, PH.D., a recently retired professor from the University of Austin, Texas. He developed more than 11 different class training plans in Power Systems and Machinery, Controls, Circuits and Digital Logic, Digital System Processing. Brown was attending to see what the current engineering needs were for students involved in Green Technologies fields.
Another person of interest was Paul Krause, from Oklahoma City. His field of expertise is high efficiency algae growth, biomass waste to energy and fermentation. Krause considers himself to be a Bioengineering Consultant with the ability to network companies and individuals. He was at the conference looking for a full time job in the Tulsa area.
IEEE Fellow Ed Muljadi, PH.D., Senior Engineer and IEEE at NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), works with Electricity, Resources and Building Systems Integration issues. He attended the conference this year to network in support of planning the 2013 5th IEEE Green Technologies Conference, as the technical program co-chair. Muljadi is seeking four-page digest submissions by 15 December 15 on Generation, Distribution, Operations, Energy Efficiency, Communication Technologies, or Smart Grid, and any environmental, legal, social or economic impacts to be considered regarding these technologies for the 2013 Conference. Check www.ieeeR5.org for more information. The dates scheduled for the Technical Conference with Business Meeting and Student Activities is 4-6 April 2013 in Denver Colo., at the Hyatt Denver Tech Center.
Most the younger people at the Conference were involved with presentation and poster boards, or just came to listen to support friends. Presenters were from Finland (4), Austria (2), China (4), Malaysia, India (3), Iran, Canada (3), Bangladesh (2), Korea, California, Georgia, Nevada, Iowa and South Carolina. Support from U.S. universities came from California and Nevada (Region 6), Iowa (Region 4), and South Carolina and Georgia (Region 3). This year marked the first year for exceptional IEEE regional support.
The first presenter I met Friday morning was Masoud Moza Fari of Iran. He was working on his second PH.D. in Electrical Engineering at Oklahoma State-Tulsa. He needed additional credentials to teach in the USA.
And Bryan Schultz was a poster board presenter I met from OKC. He was working for a new startup company--ATC New Technologies. The company motto is Bringing New Life to Products. His presentation was Second Life Hybrid Batteries used in Solar Backup. Bryan was a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma, and was at the conference to network for a full-time position with ATC. He was interested in supporting the IEEE OKC Section by hosting a meeting.
Maurice Muia from the University of St Louis made the most thoughtful and ambitious poster board. He was born in the U.S .Virgin Islands, but was very concerned about the loss of forest on Haiti. He proposed such a simple solution; I could not believe it had not been implemented yet. Maybe attending the conference will help him get the attention he needs to use bio mass from sugar cane—to burn sugar cane for heat and cooking, after the sugar is extracted. In this little way, trees which are so precious, can be replanted on the island with a high rate of survival.
As far as students at the conference--35 Robotics teams, 10 Ethics teams, 15 Circuit Design Teams participated and eight students presented papers.
On a closing note, IEEE Region 5 Director Jim Jeffries also attended the GTC. He was there to review and understand current technical conference policies, and also to relax and take in the presentations.
Robert Scolli is from Yukon, Okla., and is currently membership development chair for the IEEE OKC Section. Scolli served on IEEE-USA’s BOD as a regional director in 2006-2007. He has also served on the IEEE-USA Nominations and Appointments Committee, and on the IEEE Employment and Career Services adhoc Committee.