IEEE Smart Tech Metro Area Workshop series is coming to Boston 27–28 September 2013.

The two-day intensive workshop will be held at The Westin Waltham Boston. Receive two days of instruction, plus meals, for only US$169 for members* and US$219 for non-members. CEUs will be awarded for all workshops.

Smart Tech Workshops offer parallel, all-day and half-day track sessions that allow attendees to immerse themselves in a given technology. Below you will find the agenda and course description for each track.

As a special incentive for non-members, if you choose to wait and join IEEE on site at the workshop, you will receive a US$50 credit toward your first-year membership dues in lieu of the member discount on your registration fee.

*Society Affiliates are not eligible for the member rate.

Workshop schedule


All times are Eastern.

Friday, 27 September

Saturday, 28 September


Mutiple half-day courses. Choose one morning and one afternoon session:

Morning Sessions: Afternoon Sessions:

Multiple half-day courses. Choose one morning and one afternoon session:

Morning Sessions: Afternoon Sessions:
7:00 a.m.–8:00 a.m.
Registration and Continental Breakfast
Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m.
Opening Session
 Opening Session
8:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Track Session
Track Session
10:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.12:15 p.m.
Track Session
Track Session
12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m.
1:15 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Track Session
Track Session
3:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m.5:00 p.m.
Track Session
Track Session
5:30 p.m.7:30 p.m.
Keynote Address and Evening Reception
Workshop Series Ends at
5 p.m.


Life Science and Biotechnology

Friday Morning

Part 1: Safety Synergies and Engineering Opportunities — Complex Systems in Life Sciences

This discussion will broadly address the systems safety fundamentals long recognized in highly sensitive industrial, commercial, and military operational environments. Using healthcare examples, it will introduce participants to the opportunities for safety engineering as technology insertion accelerates in the life sciences. In addition, it will leverage the common availability of smartphone apps that log information flow relevant to personal health and the prevention or treatment of medical conditions.

At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant should be able to:

  • Describe the key roles engineers have in creating safer biotechnology deployment.
  • Differentiate life sciences applications environments.
  • Specify safety synergies possible across complex systems.

Instructor: Mary Capelli-Schellpfeffer, MD, MPA
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
Medical Director, Loyola Occupational Health Services
Fellow, IEEE

Part 2: An Engineering Approach to Cancer Therapy Design

Cancer encompasses various diseases associated with loss of cell-cycle control, leading to uncontrolled cell proliferation and/or reduced apoptosis. Cancer is usually caused by malfunction(s) in the cellular signaling pathways. Malfunctions occur in different ways and at different locations in a pathway. Consequently, therapy design should first identify the location and type of malfunction and then arrive at a suitable drug combination. We consider the growth factor (GF) signaling pathways, widely studied in the context of cancer. Interactions between different pathway components are modeled using Boolean logic gates. All possible single malfunctions in the resulting circuit are enumerated and responses of the different malfunctioning circuits to a ‘test’ input are used to group the malfunctions into classes. Effects of different drugs, targeting different parts of the Boolean circuit, are taken into account in deciding drug efficacy, thereby mapping each malfunction to an appropriate set of drugs.

About the instructor: Aniruddha Datta received the B. Tech degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur in 1985, the M.S.E.E. degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 1987 and the M.S. (Applied Mathematics) and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Southern California in 1991. In August 1991, he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University where he is currently the J. W. Runyon, Jr. ’35 Professor II. His areas of interest include adaptive control, robust control, PID control and Genomic Signal Processing. He has authored or coauthored five books and over 100 journal and conference papers on these topics. He is a Fellow of IEEE, has served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control (2001-2003), the IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics-Part B (2005-2006) and is currently serving as an Associate Editor of the EURASIP Journal on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering and IEEE Access.

Friday Afternoon

Part 1: Lighting the Way: Optical Sensors in the Life Sciences

Biology is increasingly a science that relies upon new developments in sensor engineering to provide detailed information about cell function, to perform disease diagnosis, to quantify gene expression, and to image tissue. Of the many transduction methods available for applications including point-of-care diagnostics, personalized medicine, and medical imaging, approaches based upon optics have had a tremendous impact due to a combination of non-invasiveness, robustness, miniaturization, and low cost.

This presentation will describe recent developments in the Nano Sensors Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the design, fabrication, and application of optical biosensors. For portable biosensing applications, we have demonstrated the use of the internal camera of a smartphone as a high resolution spectrophotometer for performing a variety of label-free and label-based assays. For biosensing applications in pharmaceutical research, we have developed label-free biosensors based upon external cavity lasers that are capable of detecting small molecule drugs binding to large proteins by detecting picometer-scale changes in the lasing wavelength. The talk will describe a new microscope imaging modality called “Photonic Crystal Enhanced Microscopy (PCEM)” that is capable of imaging and quantifying the strength of cell attachment to a PC biosensor surface with sub-cell spatial resolution, that is being used to study fundamental processes including chemotaxis, proliferation, and stem cell differentiation. The ability of nanostructured surfaces such as photonic crystals or arrays of metal nanodomes to generate spatially confined, high intensity electromagnetic hot spots is being used to enhance the output of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) for drug molecules, and surface-based fluorescence assays for cancer biomarker proteins. Such nanostructures can be inexpensively manufactured from plastic, glass, or silicon to enable single-use applications, such as incorporating sensors into intravenous drug delivery tubing, or rapid multiplexed disease biomarker testing using only a droplet of serum. Finally, we have recently demonstrated the application of narrowband resonant optical filters operating in the infrared spectrum as a new histological imaging modality, called Discrete Frequency IR (DFIR) absorption spectroscopy, for rapid chemical imaging for applications in pathology and forensics.

About the instructor: Brian T. Cunningham is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also serves as the Interim Director of the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, and as Director of the NSF Center for Agricultural, Biomedical, and Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology. He is serving as the IEEE Sensors Council 2013 Distinguished Lecturer. His research is in the development of biosensors and detection instruments for pharmaceutical high throughput screening, disease diagnostics, point-of-care testing, life science research, and environmental monitoring. He has published 125 peer-reviewed journal articles, and is an inventor on 75 patents. Prior to joining the faculty of Illinois in 2004, Prof. Cunningham was a co-founder of SRU Biosystems in 2000. He founded Exalt Diagnostics in 2012 to commercialize photonic crystal enhanced fluorescence technology for disease biomarker detection. Acoustic MEMS biosensor technology that he developed in his early career at Draper Laboratory has been licensed and commercialized by Bioscale, Inc. for applications in pathogen detection and diagnostics. Prof Cunningham’s work has recently been recognized with the IEEE Sensors Council Technical Achievement Award for the invention, development, and commercialization of sensors based upon photonic crystals. He is a Fellow of IEEE and AIMBE.

Part 2: Image Analysis at Work: From Cellular Dynamics to Animal Behavior

An increasing number of biological projects aim at elucidating the links between biological function and phenotype through imaging and modeling of the spatiotemporal characteristics of cellular or organism dynamics. We will first present and discuss recent developments of robust and automated tools and software for flexible and robust quantitative assessment of 2D/3D+t dynamic imaging data from biological projects. We will also describe Icy, a free open-source software ( that provides an integrated web-based development platform for bioimage informatics applications. Icy offers a common platform both for image analysis scientists developing new algorithms and for biologists seeking for a powerful and intuitive tool for image analysis applications. It combines a community website for contributing and sharing tools and material, and software for development of imaging workflows. Icy features more than 200 applicative plugins.

Participants in this session will discover how bioimaging and analysis are applied to understand biological mechanisms and functions, and algorithms and techniques that enable these discoveries. They will have also learned more about open-source software platforms in bioimaging and the impact on research.

About the instructor: Prof. Jean-Christophe Olivo-Marin is the head of the Quantitative Image Analysis Unit, Institut Pasteur, and the chair of the Cell Biology and Infection Department. He received the PhD and the HDR degrees in optics and signal processing from the Institut d’Optique Théorique et Appliquée, University of Paris-Orsay, France. He was a cofounder of the Institut Pasteur Korea, Seoul, where he held a joint appointment as a chief technology officer from 2004 to 2005. Previous to that, he was a staff scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, from 1990 to 1998. His research interests are in image analysis of multidimensional microscopy images, computer vision and motion analysis for cellular dynamics, and in multidisciplinary approaches for biological imaging. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, Past Chair of the IEEE SPS Bio Imaging and Signal Processing Technical Committee (BISP-TC), a Senior Area Editor of the IEEE Signal Processing Letters, and a member of the Editorial Board of the journals Medical Image Analysis and BMC Bioinformatics. He was the general chair of the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging in 2008.

Electric Vehicle Technology

Friday Morning

Power Electronics, Electric Machines, and Motor Drives in HEV and PHEV Powertrains

This session will cover fundamental aspects of modern HEV powertrains including characteristics of automotive subsystems. An overview of power electronic components (inverter, DC-DC converters, and chargers) and electric motors will be provided. An introduction to HEV operating strategies and controls will be discussed. Examples from some popular HEV models are used to explain the current state of art of HEV powertrains and components. Potentials and challenges of PHEV and EREV will also be discussed.

After completing this session, the attendee should be able to:

• identify the current-voltage characteristic for a Thyristor, MOSFET, and IGBT and their relative speeds and power handling capabilities, and describe applications in AC/DC, DC/DC, and DC/AC conversion circuits;
• understand operation of DC-DC converters (Boost, Buck, Buck-Boost), AC-DC rectifiers, and DC-AC inverters;
• understand design constraints, integration, and validation of electric vehicle components;
• perform steady-state calculations for electric motor operation in terms of applied voltage, currents, rotational speed, and torque, and identify their speed-torque characteristics;
• identify fundamental machine topologies most widely used from an electromagnetic perspective;
• get a basic understanding of some select control strategies relevant for traction motors.  

The presentation will include a discussion with attendees in elaborating some of the challenges faced in the implementation of power electronics for their respective applications pertinent to powertrain systems.

About the instructor: Dr. Mahesh Krishnamurthy (S’02 – M’08- SM’13) received his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly University of Missouri at Rolla), MO, USA, in 2004 and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington, TX, USA, in 2008. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and the director of the Electric Drives and Energy Conversion Laboratory at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Before joining IIT, he worked as a Design Engineer at EF technologies in Arlington, TX. His research primarily focuses on design, analysis, and control of power electronics, electric machines, and adjustable speed drives for renewable energy and automotive applications. Dr. Krishnamurthy was the recipient of the 2006–2007 IEEE VTS-Transportation Electronics Fellowship Award for his contributions and is a distinguished lecturer with the IEEE-Vehicular Technology Society. He has co-authored over 60 scientific articles, book chapters, and technical reports and has one US patent and three pending. He was the Program Co-Chair for the 2011 Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference and is the Technical Program Chair for the 2013 IEEE-Transportation Electrification Conference and Exposition. Dr. Krishnamurthy is also currently serving as the Guest Editor for the Special Section of IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology on Sustainable Transportation Systems, and as Guest Associate Editor for the Special Issue of IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics on Transportation Electrification and Vehicle Systems.

Computer Technology

Friday Morning 

Cloud in the Business Environment

Managers are often faced with having to decide if and how to upgrade their IT infrastructure and how to pay for it. In an environment of tight budgets and soaring hardware and software costs, they are also looking for alternatives to making huge investments that will have to be upgraded again and again. The Cloud can be that solution. Managers need information to make intelligent decisions, however.

Questions pertaining to Cloud economics, security, regulation and governance, metrics, and migration are introduced and discussed. In the final analysis, managers must be able to answer key questions: Is the Cloud the right place for my IT infrastructure and data? Is it a good business decision? How do I migrate to the Cloud? This course introduces and discusses these and other key concepts.

Learning objectives include:

  • describe the Cloud from the perspective of a business manager or owner;
  • demonstrate by example the principle economic considerations of the Cloud, including Net Present Value, Benefit Rations, and Playback Periods;
  • explain the principle security issues with the Cloud and what kinds of data would and would not be entrusted to the Cloud and why;
  • illustrate the principles of Cloud governance and its regulatory environment;
  • outline and explain the key issues and steps in migrating a business to the Cloud.

Interactivity is achieved through constant questioning and discussion engagement as well as interactive exercises and in-line quiz sessions.

Friday Afternoon

Cloud Governance and Security

Migrating IT infrastructures to the Cloud is becoming a cost-effective solution to the ever-increasing burden of maintaining complex software and hardware systems. As with any new concept that plays a central role in business, the Cloud must be understood. Specifically, the differences between managing an in-house IT infrastructure versus a Cloud-based infrastructure are critical.

Seeing the Cloud as a process rather than a product, implementing a governance plan, and developing Cloud metrics are all part of Cloud governance. Additionally, securing data and processes within the Cloud are central to any migration considerations. Issues such as risk profiles, what information should and should not be committed to the Cloud, roles and rules, and access control must be taken into account. This course will examine these and other key concepts central to Cloud governance and data security.

Learning objectives include:

  • overview of the key governing concepts of Cloud Computing;
  • describe and discuss the key governing metrics of Cloud Computing;
  • relate a generic governance process;
  • explain the principle risks involved with using the Cloud;
  • discuss what kinds of data should and should not be committed to the Cloud and why;
  • identify key issues involved with protecting Cloud-based data and processes, including roles, rules, and access;
  • overview career opportunities within Cloud Computing and what would be required to enter the field.

Interactivity is achieved through constant questioning and discussion engagement as well as interactive exercises and in-line quiz sessions.

About the instructor: As Cofounder and Chief Technology Officer, Don Shafer developed Athens Group's oil and gas practice and leads engineers in delivering software services for exploration, production, and pipeline monitoring systems for clients such as BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell. He led groups developing and marketing hardware and software products for Motorola, AMD, and Crystal Semiconductor. From the development of low-level software drivers to the selection and monitoring of semiconductor facilities, he has led key product and process efforts. In 2010, as an expert witness, he helped win for the plaintiff the second-largest jury verdict in Texas: $238 million.

He received a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy and an MBA from the University of Denver. Twice Treasurer of the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors, past Editor in Chief and Chair of the IEEE Computer Society Press, an IEEE Senior member, and a Golden Core member, he is a software engineering subject-matter expert for the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Advanced Research in Software Engineering Center at the University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA. Shafer has contributed to three books, written more than 20 published articles, and is coauthor of Quality Software Project Management, published by Prentice-Hall. He is a contributor to the 2010 edition of the Encyclopedia of Software Engineering and is a Certified Software Development Professional. His current projects include the development of a multi-volume set of Software Engineering Proven Practices for the oil and gas industry based on more than a decade of extensive engineering work done at Athens Group. His current patents deal with control system hardware and software virtualization for functional and performance validation and verification in a virtualized, Cloud environment.  

Smart Grid Introduction

Friday Afternoon

Smart Grid - Concepts, Solutions, Industry Standards, Impact of Renewables, Recent Developments, and Lessons Learned

This course provides a basic introduction to Smart Grid from multiple stakeholder perspectives. It covers the Smart Grid principles which accommodate all generation types including renewable and energy-storage options. These principles drive the goals and objectives that enable new products, services, and markets; optimize asset utilization and operating efficiencies; improve system reliability and power quality; and enable informed customer participation. The NIST Conceptual Model and its domains and interfaces will be explained. Smart Metering is explored. The various definitions and focus areas of Smart Grid are described, as well as the current state of Smart Grid applications and how these drive infrastructure requirements. Monitoring equipment used by Smart Grid applications in the network to generate data for analysis and improving customer service is highlighted. Issues involved with the integration of Smart Grid elements into utility operations are explored. A look is taken at how distribution automation can be an enabling technology for Smart Grid. The terminology and techniques of Smart Grid cyber security and the technology and techniques used to provide security are introduced. The Smart Grid standards framework and the challenges associated with it are described. An overview of Smart Grid network communications and the data needed in/out of the network are explained.

After completing this session, the attendee should be able to:

  • know the difference between a device, system, and solution and be able to describe six Smart Grid solutions;
  • know the difference between industry standards compliance and interoperability, and be able to describe how the success of Smart Grid solutions is dependent on industry standards compliance and interoperability;
  • be able to describe three lessons learned from deploying Smart Grid solutions.

About the instructor: John D. McDonald, P.E., is Director, Technical Strategy and Policy Development, for GE Energy Management’s Digital Energy business. John has 39 years of experience in the electric utility industry. John joined GE in 2008 as General Manager, Marketing, for GE Energy’s Transmission and Distribution (now Digital Energy) business. In 2010, John accepted his current role of Director, Technical Strategy and Policy Development, where he is responsible for setting and driving the vision that integrates GE’s standards participation, and Digital Energy’s industry organization participation, thought leadership activities, regulatory/policy participation, education programs, and product/systems development into comprehensive solutions for customers.

He is a sought-after industry leader, technical expert, educator, and speaker. In his 25 years of Working Group and Subcommittee leadership with the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Substations Committee, John led seven working groups and task forces that published standards/tutorials in the areas of distribution SCADA, master/remote terminal unit (RTU) and RTU/IED communications protocols. John was elected to the Board of Governors of the IEEE-SA (Standards Association) for 2010-2011, focusing on long-term IEEE Smart Grid standards strategy. John was elected to chair the NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) Governing Board for 2010-2012. John is presently President and Chairman of the Board for SGIP 2.0, Inc., the new member-funded nonprofit organization.

Renewable and Harvesting Energy

Part 1: IEEE's DC in the Home Investigation Project

This session looks at the IEEE effort to look at the reasons for and the impacts of using DC in the home. The project was launched in the spring of 2013 by several of the IEEE Societies and will run through 2017, with a final report due toward the end of the year. The project is a broad effort that includes research, standards, experiments and pilots, field data collection, and a business case. While the project is new, a number of assumptions and scenarios have already been proposed.

During this course, the attendee will learn:

  • typical home consumption of DC-based electricity and the growth in that use;
  • the issues with mixing A/C and D/C within a home;
  • the impact of converting to and from DC from Photovoltaics and Electric Vehicles;
  • the timeline of the effort and what the expected deliverables are;
  • how they can become involved if they choose to;
  • the order of magnitude value of the market for North America – Research, Design, Energy Savings.

About the instructor: Doug Houseman is the former CTO of Capgemini for Energy and currently the vice president of Technical Innovation at EnerNex. He is one of the authors of IEEE's GridVision 2050, published in May of 2013, and the primary author of the "Distribution Technology Roadmap." He is the vice chairman of the Intelligent Grid Coordinating Committee of IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) and the author of many of the tutorials for smart grid that are taught by PES.

Part 2: Advanced Power Distribution and Conversion Architectures: Datacenter 400VDC-to-processor and Airframe 270VDC-to-transmitter

DC distribution offers both performance and cost benefits over AC distribution. With the introduction of ITU and ETSI standards for datacenters adding to existing MIL-STD specs for airframe applications, plus the availability of infrastructure and power conversion hardware, these benefits move from intellectual talking points to commercial implementation. However, the conversion challenges from the DC distribution voltage to legacy 12V and 48V loads and also the complete conversion powertrain to low voltages (e.g. sub-1V for processors or 2.5V for SiGe transmitters) must also be fully understood and resolved.

Two advanced power conversion topologies (the Sine Amplitude Converter and non-isolated BuckBoost) will be discussed in detail, plus how new power component packaging techniques enable high power density, high efficiency and low weight. These power component building blocks will be used to demonstrate how complete systems can be efficiently, elegantly, and cost-effectively implemented.

Examples covered include:

• 400VDC to 12V and 48V legacy loads;

• 400VDC to sub-1V processor and memory loads;

• 270VDC to 30V/52V GaN and 2.5V SiGe transmitters.

About the instructor: Stephen Oliver, Vice President of Vicor’s VI Chip Product Line, has been in the electronics industry for 19 years, with experience in applications engineering, product development, manufacturing, and strategic product marketing in the AC-DC, telecom, defense, processor power, and automotive markets. Previously with International Rectifier, Philips Electronics, and Motorola, he received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Manchester University, UK, and an MBA in global strategy and marketing from The University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. He holds several power electronics patents as well.

Commercial Robotics: Rehabilitation Robotics

Saturday Morning

Part 1: The Design of Wearable Robots for Lower-Extremity Human Augmentation

Human augmentation will be reviewed in a historical context, from passive and quasi-passive devices to the wearable robots employed commercially today. The particular challenges of lower-extremity augmentation will be described. The design of a biophysically inspired ankle prosthesis will be reviewed with a focus on the mechanical and control system design of the bionic, series-elastic actuator-based, muscle-tendon platform that powers the prosthesis. The path forward for lower-extremity human augmentation devices, including neural integration, will be described.

Learning outcomes include:

  • how wearable robots are changing lives;
  • how series-elastic actuators are designed to emulate the positive force-feedback-based reflex response of biological muscle-tendon units;
  • how the reflex response can be customized to restore function in the context of quantifiable, biomechanical norms.

About the instructor: For the past 25 years, Rick Casler has led the development and commercialization of robust, high-performance, electro-mechanical systems. These systems span the fields of industrial automation and control, industrial robotics, medical robotics, and microsystem assembly. What’s more, these are achieving best-in-class machine cycle time, footprint, and cost. Rick has served in executive positions in both Fortune 100 and entrepreneurial enterprises, including serving as the CEO of Genesis Automation and the Vice President of Engineering of Adept Technology, where he drove development of scalable robotic systems. While the Vice President of Systems Engineering at Intuitive Surgical, he built a quality and reliability infrastructure that increased telesurgical system reliability; he also served as Vice President of Engineering and CTO of Electroglas, where he led the development of a revolutionary wafer probe and microsystem assembly platform that was the first in the industry to employ active vibration cancellation technology. Casler holds B.S.M.E. and M.S.M.E. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA, USA, and an MBA from Pepperdine University, CA, USA. He holds over 25 patents in the fields of dynamic control, signal processing, robotics, and precision platform design. Rick joined BiOM in May 2008.

Part 2: Rethinking Robotics - How to change the face of manufacturing automation

Rethink Robotics is engaged in a bold mission: to dramatically lower the barrier to entry for robots into factories small and large, and to be a true game-changer in the manufacturing world. The term “industrial robot” today still conjures an image of a big, expensive, dangerous machine that takes months to integrate into a manufacturing line. We are working to change all that. Baxter, our flagship product, is a human-scale, inexpensive robot that does not need a safety cage, so it can work side-by-side with factory workers and university researchers alike. Local domain experts, the technicians who already keep our customers’ factories running smoothly can train Baxter themselves via its interactive, direct manipulation user interface, saving integration lead-time and the cost of expensive factory automation consultants. This talk will cover how Baxter is different from other robots, both mechanically and from a software perspective, and how these will be important towards reaching our world-changing goals.

About the instructor: Tim McNerney is a Senior Software Engineer at Rethink Robotics. Tim has played an active, interdisciplinary role at the company, working with experts in user experience design, control systems, machine vision, mechanical and electrical engineers to make Baxter a truly useful robot. Tim has a Masters degree from the MIT Media Laboratory, where he studied Tangible User Interfaces and end-user programming in an education context.

Part 3: The use of robotic and advanced technology in neurorehabilitation

The use of advanced technology in neurorehabilitation with focus on robotics will be explained. Market push vs. market pull will be reviewed and the advantages but as well limitations of advanced therapy principals will be addressed. Furthermore the future of rehabilitation robotics will be discussed.

Learning outcomes include:

  • know about the use of state-of-the-art technology in neurorehabilitation;
  • understand the benefits and limitations of advanced technology;
  • know future trends of rehabilitation robotics.

About the instructor: Stefan Bircher, Ph.D., is the Executive Vice President of Hocoma Inc., Norwell, MA, USA, which is the US subsidiary of Hocoma AG, a Swiss-based company known as the world leader in advanced rehabilitation technology. Hocoma’s therapy solutions are applied successfully in renowned clinics and research institutes worldwide in the field of rehabilitation medicine.

Stefan has a Ph.D. in Physiology and Rehabilitation Sciences from the German Sports University, Cologne, Germany. As former Deputy Head of the clinical sports therapy department at the Rehabilitation Center Valens (Switzerland) and his research activities at the Swiss Paraplegic Center Nottwil and the Health Sciences Division at the University of South Australia he acquired a broad experience in various healthcare related areas. He joined Hocoma seven years ago as Head of Clinical Applications and Product Manager and relocated in 2010 to the greater Boston, MA, USA, area to run Hocoma's US subsidiary.

Project Management and Intellectual Property

Saturday Morning

Part 1: Project Management to PMO

Getting the right things done on schedule and within budget are essential principles in engineering as well as most business organizations. To be effective, that culture has to be alive and well at each level of the organization. Appropriate skills, knowledge, and best practices have to be in place at the engineer level. At the enterprise level, projects must be managed in a portfolio by a Project Management Organization (PMO). The benefits to an organization of this culture are numerous: reduced cost, on-time delivery, improved access to data for business decision making, improved customer satisfaction, and a significant competitive advantage. It is about predictability and reduced risk. Top to bottom implementation of project management, however, can be onerous, costly, and fraught with risk. This workshop presents a framework for visualizing and achieving that goal. Three areas will be stressed: building a core competency in the management of projects, a strategic approach to change management, and integration of hardware and software. Attendees will gain knowledge of the project management process and benefit from involvement in interactive discussions and Q&A opportunities throughout the session. Participants may download slides, the glossary, reference materials, and PMP requirements as well as have access to an online assessment of their individual knowledge of project concepts.

By the end of the presentation, attendees will be able to:
  • describe the activities and infrastructure needed to build a project-centric organization;
  • understand the inter-related functions and responsibilities at various levels of a project organization;
  • understand basic concepts in Traditional and Agile project processes;
  • understand the need for skills in change management and interpersonal communications;
  • determine how to work collaboratively toward building a project culture;
  • assess their organization’s level of sophistication and competitive advantage in the application of project concepts.

About the instructors:

Joseph Turner, PMP, is the Principal of Turner Consulting. The focus of his practice is to help his clients create a sustainable competitive advantage: to assist clients in aligning the completion of critical projects with corporate objectives. Joe provides world-class training and consulting services to develop core competencies in project management, planning, and budgeting. Joe has more than 40 years of business and leadership experience nationally and internationally. His clients are engaged in a wide variety of industries: high technology, financial services, manufacturing, educational institutions, medical and biotechnology, construction, consulting, government, insurance, law and law-enforcement management, utilities, and not-for-profit. His business experience ranges from the management of corporate budgets at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to providing individual and team consulting for all corporate functions. His education includes a B.S. in Mathematics and Physics at Virginia Military Institute in Virginia, USA, and credits toward an MBA at Boston University in Massachusetts, USA. Joe served an extended tour on Okinawa during the Viet Nam theatre. Joe is an adjunct faculty member in the continuing-education departments of many local educational institutions and is a frequent presenter at New England chapters of the Project Management Institute.

Michael Halperin, PhD, is Principal of Halperin Consulting, an organizational consulting and training firm. With 30 years of consulting experience, Mike has fostered effective organizational change in a wide range of settings including: executive coaching, policy development and analysis, large-scale organizational change interventions, strategic planning, customer service, program design and evaluation, teambuilding, and installing organizational learning capabilities. He is experienced in many aspects of leadership development, including: needs assessment, design and development in a wide range of critical business topics, delivery and facilitation, staffing, coaching and mentoring, marketing, and evaluation. He uses a variety of tools to supplement his consulting and coaching practice, including DiSC, MBTI, and Motivation Factor. Mike is particularly skilled at accessing historically hidden issues and in navigating difficult conversations, including helping consultants and clients understand the likely intended and unintended consequences of their decisions. Mike completed his masters and doctoral work at The George Washington University in public policy analysis, organization development, and economics. Mike is a frequent presenter at Massachusetts PMI meetings and was a co-presenter at PMI’s Professional Development Day 2012 and 2013.

Part 2: Intellectual Property for the Engineer and Scientist

IP is property that results from original creative thought and the fields of law that correspond to those types of property. Common types of IP include trade secrets, patents, copyrights, and trademarks. In this seminar, we will explore the fundamentals of IP and discuss how IP can be harnessed to achieve business and technological objectives.

At the conclusion of the presentation, the attendee will know the characteristics of forms of IP, when and how to employ them, and practical steps to take to obtain and maintain IP assets and to take advantage of them.

The course will be interactive by encouraging questions and working through a case study outlining the effects of the America Invents Act and other recent patent reform proposals on US patent law.

About the instructor: Maura K. Moran, Attorney at Law, formulates and implements IP strategies and structures strategic alliances through her own full-service IP firm in Sudbury, MA, USA. Maura provides the gamut of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade-secret services: innovation identification, patent application drafting and prosecution, patentability analyses, trademark clearance and registration, and invalidity/infringement investigations. She consults on IP management and IP department administration. She also conducts IP audits and provides litigation services. Recently, she was able to obtain a favorable settlement for a client sued by Microsoft for trademark and copyright infringement. In addition, Maura supports licensing, joint development, joint ventures, consortia, divestiture, and acquisition teams, and she provides legal and business training. Maura’s clients have been in several fields, among them software, communications, networking, e-commerce, insurance, modeling, information theory, social networking, knowledge engineering, artificial intelligence, medical devices, measurement and instrumentation, semiconductors, induced hydraulic fracturing (fracking), home-improvement devices, sports equipment, and apparel. Maura is a member of the WBA’s Business Development Committee and the IEEE-USA’s Intellectual Property Committee. She is an active member of professional intellectual property law organizations, including IEEE’s Intellectual Property Committee. She is registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office and is admitted to the bar in Massachusetts and in U.S. Federal Courts (D. Mass, First Circuit, the Federal Circuit, and the US Supreme Court).


Saturday Afternoon

Designing Smartphone Apps for Android Devices Using the AppInventor Platform

Learn how to create Android mobile apps with AppInventor in this hands-on workshop. AppInventor is an "easy," drag and drop, visual programming system for creating apps for Android phones and tablets. AppInventor comes with a PC "emulator," which mimics a phone, so a real Android phone/tablet is not needed to create or test your apps.

To maximize instruction time, workshop participants are required to bring their PC or Mac laptop on which AppInventor has already been installed and tested (directions will be provided to session attendees upon registration) and participate in a checkout procedure at breakfast (or lunch) that will test their computer’s preparedness for this hands-on workshop.

About the instructor: Charles P. Rubenstein, Ph. D., CEng, is a tenured professor at Pratt Institute’s graduate School of Information and Library Science in New York City, USA, and was a visiting professor of engineering at Farmingdale State College (SUNY) Farmingdale, NY. He has an earned doctorate in bioengineering (Polytechnic Institute of New York) and master’s in library and information science (Pratt Institute). He has received many IEEE honors including IEEE’s Robert S. Walleigh Distinguished Professionalism Award, an IEEE-USA Citation of Honor, IEEE Centennial Outstanding Young Engineer and Third Millennium Medals, and an IEEE Regional Activities Board Innovation Award. An internationally known distinguished lecturer for Engineering Management and Computer Society Tutorial Programs, he has delivered HTML, leadership skills, ecommerce, wireless technology, and "Scalability of Membership" presentations, tutorials, and workshops throughout the world. Dr. Rubenstein was 2010-2011 IEEE Director and Region 1 Chair (NE USA) and is 2013-2014 Chair of the IEEE-USA Conferences Committee. He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor societies.

Defense/Homeland Security Robotics

Saturday Afternoon

Part 1: Highly Dynamic Legged Locomotion and Aerial Manipulation

Biological systems are able to move with great elegance, agility, efficiency, speed, and robustness in a wide range of environments. Endowing machines with similar capabilities requires designing controllers that can address the challenges of high-degree-of-freedom, high-degree-of-underactuation, nonlinear, and hybrid dynamics, with the constraints of available actuators, sensors, and processors. This session will cover the design of planning and control policies for two problems: dynamic legged locomotion and dynamic aerial manipulation.

Attendees will hear about a nonlinear controller design that preserves the natural compliant dynamics of the system as part of the closed-loop called MABEL, a planar bipedal robot weighing 65 Kg and 1m tall at the hips, that is efficient, robust walking, and stable.

Next, learn about a method that draws inspiration from aerial hunting by birds of prey and enables a micro aerial vehicle with an actuated appendage to perform grasping and object retrieval at high speeds. The problem of cooperative transportation of a cable-suspended payload from multiple aerial vehicles is presented to show how one can design dynamically feasible trajectories that can also handle the case when the tension in the cable is zero.

The work on legged locomotion was funded by NSF and DARPA, while the work on aerial manipulation was funded as part of the MAST project by the US Army.

Learning outcomes include:

  • how robots perform some of the highly dynamic tasks seen in nature;
  • how to achieve high-speed, high-success-rate, dynamic aerial grasping;
  • how to achieve cooperative aerial transportation of payloads with an arbitrary number of micro aerial vehicles.

About the instructor: Koushil Sreenath is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. His research interest lies at the intersection of highly dynamic robotics and applied nonlinear control. In particular, he employs feedback control to ascribe high-performance features seen in biological systems to robotic systems that are typically characterized by high degree-of-freedom, high degree-of-underactuation, and with nonlinear and hybrid dynamics. His work on dynamic legged locomotion on the bipedal robot MABEL was featured on The Discovery Channel, CNN, ESPN, FOX, and CBS. His work on dynamic aerial manipulation was featured on IEEE Spectrum, New Scientist, Huffington Post, and several other online media networks. His work on adaptive sampling with mobile sensor networks was published as a book titled "Adaptive Sampling with Mobile WSN" by IET.

Part 2: Challenges Associated with Designing Robots for Military Fielding

A variety of applications exist within military robotics, including surveillance, armed patrol, and explosive ordinance disposal. Each application presents a unique set of challenges for the design team, such as portable robotic systems that must be carefully designed and tested to ensure reliable operation in the environment. Several of these applications will be explored and the trials associated with each application will be discussed.

Traditionally, robotic systems were developed to achieve a single goal faster, better, or safer than a human would. Due to financial constraints, military robots frequently must be capable of performing multiple missions. This need for a multi-mission robot has led to the advent of interoperable robotic systems within the military. The challenges associated with designing an interoperable system for military use will be explored as well.

At the end of this course, the participant will:

  • know the general challenges with designing a robotic product to be fielded in extreme environments;
  • gain an understanding of how to integrate new technologies into a system intended for military use;
  • understand techniques for developing a multi-mission robotic system.

Multiple robots will be on hand during the presentation to demonstrate the covered material.

About the instructor: Frank Lentine is a Senior Electrical Engineer at QinetiQ North America and project manager for a next generation robotic system. He joined QinetiQ North America in 2010 and has worked on both the TALON and MAARS systems. Prior to joining QinetiQ North America, he worked as a Hardware Engineer at Foresight Imaging developing Video Capture Solutions. Frank received his M.S. in Computer Engineering in 2013 and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2007, both from University of Massachusetts – Lowell, MA, USA. Frank received his PMP certification from PMI in 2013.

Career Assistance: Setting a Course for Career Satisfaction

Saturday Afternoon 

Presented by volunteer members of the IEEE-USA Employment and Career Services Committee (ECSC), the goal of the workshop is to assist engineers and technology professionals in developing lifelong employability in a continuously changing career and employment environment by focusing on their own professional and career development. The workshop will provide information and tools that will help engineers and technology professionals in:

  • developing networking and job-seeking skills;
  • improving the ability to take responsibility for personal career and professional development;
  • emphasizing that career and professional development involves both technical and non-technical areas.

Throughout the Career Assistance track, the presenters will highlight the unique resources that IEEE makes available to help engineers and technology professionals manage their careers.

About the instructors:

Peggy Hutcheson, Ph.D., is the founding partner of the Odyssey Group, a firm specializing in products and services for organizations and individuals to connect people to changing work roles. Currently she serves as Co-Chair of IEEE’s Innovation Institute, and she is past Chair of its Employment and Career Services group. Peggy is a speaker and author, having co-authored Helping Employees Manage Careers, published more than a dozen articles, presented a half-dozen invited webinars, and contributed to five books. Her contributions have been recognized with leadership awards from ASTD, the IEEE-USA, and Georgia State University, GA, USA.

Holly M. Cyrus is currently Project Manager for the Airport Safety Technology R & D Section, ANG-E261, at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center, Atlantic City, NJ, USA. She performs research and development of Visual Guidance equipment and Pavement Marking Materials. She has been with the Federal Aviation Administration for 24 years. Her experience includes two years with the Environmental Engineering Branch, Depot Engineering, AAC-445C, where she found replacements for obsolete parts for lighted navaids and engine generators. She worked for 11 years with the Navigation and Landing Branch, AOS-240, in Oklahoma City, OK, USA, performing modifications and field support of lighted navaids. Holly is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA. She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. She is a graduate of Capella University, Minneapolis, MN, USA. She received an MBA. She has been in Toastmasters for 11 years and is a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). She has also been in IEEE for 11 years and is an IEEE Southern New Jersey Employment and Career Activities Coordinator Region 2 and Women In Engineering (WIE) Committee Member at the International level.

Don Herres is the IEEE Region 1 Employment & Career Activities Coordinator and also Syracuse Section Chair. He has been involved with Career Activities Workshops with IEEE for a number of years and was awarded an IEEE-USA Citation of Honor in 2006 for these efforts. Don has a BSEE from SUNY Buffalo, NY, USA, and an MSEE from Syracuse University, NY, and is a licensed professional engineer in New York State. He has extensive experience in product design and manufacturing, holds three patents, and is currently employed as Senior Design Electrical Engineer with the Switches, Sensors, and Controls Business Unit of Marquardt Switches in Cazenovia, NY.

Edward L. Kirchner is the 2012 Chair of the IEEE-USA Employment and Career Services committee, on which he also represents IEEE Region 3. His engineering career spans 28 years and includes senior technical and management positions. He is currently Project Engineer and Program Manager at Harris Corporation.

Tarek Lahdhiri, Ph.D., PE, PMP, SM-IEEE is the IEEE Region 4 PACE Chair and the IEEE Region 4 representative to the IEEE-USA Employment & Career Services committee. Dr. Lahdhiri is the recipient of the 2001 IEEE-USA Professional Achievement Award, the 2004 IEEE-USA Professional Leadership Award, and the 2007 IEEE-USA Citation of Honor Award. Dr. Lahdhiri is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the state of Michigan, USA, and a licensed Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI). He works at General Motors Corporation, where he is the Strategy Leader for Real-Time Control Systems.

Keynote Address: Vladimir Bulovi?

Vladimir Bulovic, Keynote Speaker at the Metro Area Workshop in Boston

Nanotechnology For Electrical Engineers

Over the last two decades, the world-wide community of nano-engineers has advanced assembly of nano-materials such as molecules, polymers, and colloidal quantum dots into active optical and electronic structures of nano-scale thickness, developing them into practical device technologies of high-energy efficiency.

This paradigm shift in device engineering is a sign of the dawn of a new era of electrical engineering and will define 21st-century pursuits. Through examples of commercial and pre-commercial demonstrations of nanostructured devices developed in the Organic and Nanostructured Electronics laboratory (ONE-lab) at MIT, the talk will highlight the emergence of practical, large-area nano-enabled light-emitting devices for lighting, displays, and IR illumination, new types of nano-structured solar cells for ubiquitously deployable energy harvesting, and new nanoscale electro-mechanical structures for computation, actuation, and sensing.

About the keynote speaker: Vladimir Bulovi? is the Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT, leading the Organic and Nanostructured Electronics laboratory, directing the MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories, and co-directing the MIT-ENI Solar Frontiers Center. Bulovi?’s research interests include studies of physical properties of organic and inorganic nanocrystal composite thin films and structures, and development of novel nanostructured optoelectronic devices. He is an author of over 140 research articles (cited over 10,000 times) and an inventor of over 50 US patents in areas of light emitting diodes, lasers, photovoltaics, photodetectors, chemical sensors, programmable memories, and microelectromachines, the majority of which have been licensed and utilized by both startup and multinational companies. He is a founder of QD Vision, Inc. of Watertown, MA, USA, which is producing quantum dot optoelectronic components; of Kateeva, Inc. of Menlo Park, CA, USA, which is focused on development of printed organic electronics; and Ubiquitous Energy, Inc., which is developing nanostructured solar technologies.