2017 IEEE-USA Awards Honor 12 for Excellence, Service, Contributions

2017 IEEE-USA Awards Honor 12 for Excellence, Service, Contributions

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Pictured above: Hamid Vakilzadian (center), professor of electrical and computer engineering, was presented with the George F. McClure Citation of Honor at the IEEE-USA Awards and Recognitions Ceremony on 3 February in Burlingame, Calif. Photo: University of Nebraska, College of Engineering.

To say that Brian A. Berg of Saratoga, California, is a busy man would be understating the facts. When not at work as a longtime independent consultant, who is respected for his expertise with optical and magnetic storage devices and storage interfaces, he could be:

Attending a board meeting of the IEEE Consultants Network of Silicon Valley (IEEE-CNSV) (he’s been actively involved in it since 2006) … or preparing the next Region 6 Milestone nomination (he has secured an impressive five of them) … or putting the final touches on another, potentially successful funding request (he helped to secure financial support from the IEEE Foundation for the docent programs at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.)

Just a few of his other ongoing volunteer roles include serving as IEEE-CNSV program chair, membership chair and web site coordinator. In addition, Berg has been an advisor to the Silicon Valley Chapter of IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE), and many regard him as having been instrumental in its revitalization.

In September 2017, Berg organized an event for members to visit the new Silicon Valley facility of the United States Patent Office (USPTO), and familiarize themselves with important services not available online. Since IEEE publications are by far the most frequently referenced documents in USPTO scientific patents, the presence of this new office is especially noteworthy for IEEE members who live and work in the Valley.

To recognize his many contributions to IEEE and IEEE-USA, Berg was recently presented with the 2017 IEEE-USA Professional Leadership Award. The IEEE Senior Member was honored during a joint meeting of Regions 4 and 6 in Burlingame, California.

IEEE-USA is presenting eleven other individuals with IEEE-USA awards and recognitions, at various IEEE meetings throughout the United States. These honors acknowledge excellence, outstanding service and contributions that further IEEE-USA’s objectives. IEEE-USA’s Awards and Recognition Committee administers these prestigious awards; and the IEEE Awards Board and the IEEE Board of Directors approves them.  IEEE-USA awards and recognitions are in three categories: professionalism, technical achievement and literary contributions.

John Johnson, who chaired the 2017 IEEE-USA Awards and Recognition Committee, says the committee received many nominations for deserving individuals. He encourages nominators who were unsuccessful to resubmit their nomination packages for 2018.

Honored at Regions 4 and 6 Joint Meeting

In addition to Brian Berg, IEEE-USA honored four other members at the Regions 4 and 6 joint meeting: Jackie Adams of Denver; Subramaniam Ganesan of Rochester, Michigan; Hamid Vakilzadian of Lincoln, Nebraska; and Byung K. Yi of San Diego.

IEEE Member Jackie Adams received the Entrepreneur Leadership Award for Leadership in Entrepreneurial Spirit. A serial entrepreneur, her achievements include: organizing and launching a successful non-profit organization in Kenya that protects and helps vulnerable young girls; co-creating a scholarship program at Case Western Reserve University that builds confidence and combats gender bias; and establishing an innovative business that delivers quality, cost-efficient online technical training programs.

IEEE Life Senior Member Subramaniam Ganesan received the Regional Professional Leadership Award for his professional contributions, especially for nurturing the growth of the annual Embedded Systems Workshop sponsored by Oakland University, IEEE Southeastern Michigan Section and the IEEE Computer Society. This popular regional event inspires attendees and contributes to Southeast Michigan’s technical talent pool and economy. Dr. Ganesan is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Oakland University.

IEEE Senior Member Hamid Vakilzadian received the George F. McClure Citation of Honor to recognize his long dedication to the IEEE Region 4 Electro-Information Technology (EIT) Conference, and his leadership within Region 4. He is especially known for his roles bridging the gap between technical and professional activities. Vakilzadian has served as both PACE and Technical Activities chair(s), and has forged important relationships between local industry and IEEE.

IEEE Senior Member Byung K. Yi received the George F. McClure Citation of Honor for his exceptional leadership in IEEE, the wireless communications industry, and 3G and 4G standards organizations. Yi has also made significant contributions to wireless technologies research and development, including pioneering work on coordinated multipoint communication. He is credited with rejuvenating the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society in the San Diego Section. Dr. Yi is Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of InterDigital Inc.

Paul Manz Honored in Princeton, NJ

During the recent IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference in Princeton, New Jersey, IEEE-USA honored IEEE Senior Member Paul C. Manz with the Harry Diamond Memorial Award. Manz is Chief Scientist in the United States Army Program Executive Office for Ammunition, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. He was recognized for contributions and technical leadership in the development, engineering and transition of enabling electrotechnologies required for combat overmatch critical to the national defense.

At other IEEE events this spring, IEEE-USA will present Barney Adler of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Grayson Randall of Cary, North Carolina; Gregg L. Vaughan of Birmingham, Alabama; Erick Maxwell and Porsha Denson, both of Atlanta, Georgia; and Fawzi Behmann of Round Rock, Texas, with the five remaining IEEE-USA awards.

IEEE Life Senior Member Barney Adler is receiving the Jim Watson Student Professional Awareness Achievement Award. The longtime Student Activities Chair for the IEEE Philadelphia Section, IEEE-USA is honoring Adler for his exemplary service in developing professional awareness in thousands of IEEE Student Members. Recently retired from PECO Energy Company, Adler has worked for many years with his Section’s seven Student Branches–encouraging events and activities, and providing them with a growth path into IEEE membership and participation.

IEEE-USA is honoring both IEEE Senior Members Gregg L. Vaughan and Grayson Randall, each for their long commitment to supporting IEEE-USA professional aims, and for their significant roles with the MOVE mobile emergency relief program. Vaughan is receiving the George H. McClure Citation of Honor for professional activities that include serving as technical lead for designing the MOVE truck. Randall will receive the Robert S. Walleigh Engineering Professionalism Award for service in many areas, but especially his work as lead driver to eight disaster areas following floods, hurricanes and wildfires. Both Vaughan and Randall took early leadership roles with planning for the MOVE project.  In addition, both men have been active IEEE-USA volunteers for many years. Vaughan is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Alabama. Randall is Chief Technology Officer at InSight Technologies.

IEEE Senior Member Erick Maxwell and educator Porsha Denson are receiving the K-12 STEM Literacy Educator-Engineer Partnership Award. IEEE-USA is recognizing them for their partnership in delivering an authentic engineering experience in engineering design to a team of high school students. Dr. Maxwell developed the curriculum, and then trained Dr. Denson as project lead for the student team. The program not only increased students’ skills and interest in engineering, but also inspired them to develop their idea into an award-winning project at the Atlanta Science Fair. Dr. Maxwell is a principal research engineer at Georgia Tech, and Dr. Denson teaches Honors Math at Maynard Jackson High School.

IEEE-USA is honoring IEEE Senior Member Fawzi Behmann with the Professional Achievement Award, for his achievements in raising the IEEE profile to new heights, in both the Central Texas and global communities. Behmann’s many accomplishments include chairing the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc) and IEEE Signal Processing Joint Austin Chapter for six years, during which it twice received ComSoc’s Chapter of the Year Award. He also started the new IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology and IEEE Computer Society Joint Austin Chapter, and he has led many successful projects for IEEE Central Texas PACE.

Detailed information about submitting nominations for the 2018 IEEE-USA Awards and Recognitions is at: https://ieeeusa.org/volunteers/awards-recognition/.


Helen Horwitz is an award-winning freelance writer who lives in Albuquerque, N.M. She was with IEEE from 1991 through 2011, the first nine as Staff Director, IEEE Corporate Communications.


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