Register Now | IEEE Smart Tech San Diego, CA, USA | 8 December 2017

The one-day intensive workshop will cover the best in SOCal Tech and will be held at Coleman University in San Diego, CA, USA. Explore the course agenda below. Smart Tech events offer all-day track sessions that allow attendees to immerse themselves in a given technology. Registration is now available.


Below you will find the event agenda. CEUs will be available for all workshops.

Discounts are available for corporate groups and student groups of four or more. To arrange this, please contact

Workshop agenda


 *All times shown in Pacific Time (PT)/UTC-08

Thursday, Dec.7, 5:30PM Networking Reception - San Diego Section
Women in Engineering (WIE)/Young Professionals (YP)/Life Members/Students Scalematrix Data Center


Friday, December 8, 7:30am - 5:30pm IEEE Smart Tech Workshop Coleman University


7:30 a.m.


Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:15 a.m.


Opening Keynote: Integration of Robotic A.I. into Complex Human Environments by Brain Corp

9:00 a.m.


Executive Session: Intro on Technology Now & Next Main Panel Intellectual Property, Innovation & Patents

Three rooms run concurrently all day. Attendees choose where to go.





Hopper Hall Lovelace Theater Rhude Theater

10:30 a.m.


Coffee Break & Exhibits Coleman Digital Library

11:00 a.m.


BDSE Panel of Experts Smart Cities IOT

12:30 p.m.



1:30 p.m.


5G Genomics UAV

3:00 p.m.


Coffee Break & Exhibits Coleman Digital Library


3:30 p.m.


Autonomous and Connected Vehicles BlueTech Latest Trends in Employment & Careers

5:30 p.m.


Closing Reception - Electric and Networked Vehicle Institute - Unmanned Systems, Adjacent building

Course descriptions

Opening Keynote: Integration of Robotic A.I. into Complex Human Environments

Keynote speaker: John Black - SVP Engineering and General Manager Floor Care Business.

It is one thing to solve autonomous navigation problems in a lab, but quite another to successfully deploy self-driving robots in live, peopled environments. The key to successful customer adoption is the ease of integration into existing spaces, with minimal behavioral change. Minimizing change to the customer, drives the need for advanced, real-world A.I. solutions - the more the adaptable the A.I., the less the environment needs to be adapted.

John Black is a proven product development and operations professional, ​with 20+ years R&D engineering experience. ​​John has launched over 20 notable products to market starting from a “blank sheet of paper”​ concept, to mass production​. His portfolio included work for Ecolab, Apple, 3M, Pillsbury, McDonalds, BioHorizons, Mikros, Nilfisk, Crane Vending, Chrysler, and BMW.

John joined Brain Corp t​in 2015 to help commercialize the ground breaking robotic research created during the initial stages of the company. He now leads the FloorCare Business unit.

John received his BSME from Carnegie Mellon University and his MSME from Oakland University. He is a certified TÜV Functional Safety Engineer and involved in multiple industry safety standards association groups.

Big Data Science & Engineering

Moderator: Natasha Balac, Ph.D. 

Michael Zeller, SVP AI Strategy & Innovation at Software AG
Stephen Coggeshall, Chief Analytics and Science officer, ID Analytics
Milan Plavsic, Senior Director of Engineering at Qualcomm
Bryon Cook, Empyr Chief Operating Officer

This panel will address some of the latest issues in Data Science, one of the most disruptive technologies today. Wikipedia describes Data Science (DS) as “an interdisciplinary field about scientific methods, processes, and systems to extract knowledge or insights from various forms, either structured or unstructured, similar to data mining. It employs mathematics, statistics, information science computer science … machine learning, classification, cluster analysis, data mining, databases and visualization.”

Topics include:

  • What are the top 5 impacts of DS on organizations and businesses, what are the best ways to organize DS teams, and what are the best measurements of the value of DS, which can be used to counter hype?
  • Are big sample size problems really better than small sample size problems? What is the difference in Veracity? Do we really need gigantic computers and data sets?
  • How does DS impact computational hardware CPU/GPU, fog/edge computing and the cloud?
  • How does DS impact health diagnosis, genomics and drug discovery?
  • Can DS help detect fraud and identity theft?

Intellectual Property & Patents

Moderator: Dr. Ron D. Katznelson 

Dr. Ron D. Katznelson, President, Bi-Level Technologies and a member of the IP Committee of IEEE-USA
Drew Koning, Cooley LLP.
Keith D. Grzelak, Wells St. John PS, member and past Chair of the IP Committee of IEEE-USA.

In this panel session, local and national experts will discuss recent developments in patent law and their effects on our members’ ability to obtain patents, to defend them once issued, and to use them or license them in order to protect products or revenue streams in the market.

Topics include:

  • Practical advice on preparing for filing and prosecuting patent applications. Strategies for protecting patent rights when forging strategic partnerships or licensing.
  • The narrowing field of patent-eligible subject matter - patent protection challenges for computer-implemented inventions
  • Trends in Supreme Court decisions on patent law and their effect on the choice of patent litigation Venue; The threat of Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings at the Patent Office for invalidating patents. A current constitutional challenge to the IPR process will also be discussed.

Latest Trends in Employment and Career Planning

Mike Junge, Head of Talent Acquisition, TGS Management Company, LLC
Mauro Tognari, Consultant and IEEE-USA VP
Faye Chou Kurpanek, Director, Executive Education, UC San Diego, Jacobs School of Engineering
Paul Kostek, Principal Air Direct Solutions LLC, Technology Project Manager – CREST UW, Chair IEEE-USA Employment and Career Services Committee

Get the latest information on interviewing, resumes, using performance reviews to advance your career and continuing education. The IEEE-USA Employment and Career Services Committee will provide information to help you with moving your career forward in 2018.

Autonomous and Connected Vehicles

Moderator: Faisal Mushtaq
Jeff Debrosse, Founder/CTO, NXT Robotics Corp.
Michael Philippi, VP Technology, Lytx
David Bruemmer, CEO, Adaptive Motion Group
Sandeep Pandya, President, Netradyne

This panel will take a deep dive into the various technologies and building blocks that are making Autonomous Vehicles a reality. Although the research in this area has been going on for past 4 decades, it is only in the last few years that Autonomous Vehicle Industry has exploded. All major car manufacturers have announced Level 3 to Level 5 autonomy starting 2020. The panel will take a look at the key drivers that is making this a reality.

Topics include:


  • What is the role of Machine and Deep Learning in Autonomous Vehicles? Can we build a solution without using ML?
  • What is the role of localization and mapping?
  • What is the role of non line of sight (NLOS) technologies? Are they must for making this dream a reality?
  • Current state of V2X and V2V
  • What is the role of 5G and Edge Computing?
  • Are consumers ready to accept this paradigm shift?
  • What are the economics and cost dynamics of shift to autonomy?

The Commercialization of 5G

Moderator: Dr. Liangping Ma, InterDigital

Dr. Byung K. Yi, CTO, EVP, InterDigital
Dr. Durga Malladi, SVP, Qualcomm
Dr. Pranav Dayal, Principal Engineer, Samsung
Dr. James Gilb, Principal Engineer, General Atomics, IEEE 802-EXCOM

This panel discussion will focus on the commercialization of 5G, including standards and technology developments.

The topics will include:

  • What is 5G? What unique features does it have?
  • 5G standards status: New Radio (NR) and it relationship to Wi-Fi
  • Killer applications: what are the killer applications that will make 5G necessary? Will there be an eco-system (network operators, application developers) to support these applications?
  • Technology deployment: The timetable of commercial launches for major network operators. Which part of 5G technologies will be deployed first?
  • FCC recently announced plans to repeal the net neutrality policy. What is the impact on 5G commercialization?
  • What role can 5G play in enabling the Fourth Industrial Revolution (featured by technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, etc.)?

Smart Cities Panel

Dennis Gakunga, City of Chula Vista
Jason Anderson, Cleantech San Diego
David Graham, City of San Diego
Rick Azer, Black & Veatch
John Holmes, UC San Dieg
Nisha Mohanl, US Ignite

Cleantech San Diego's Smart Cities San Diego initiative brings together private and public leaders from across the city to advance the region’s collective smart cities goals. The participants have led efforts around electric vehicle adoption and charging infrastructure, energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings, intelligent streetlights, smart building projects at San Diego’s port and airport, and a smart Bayfront development. In this inspiring session, learn how the collaborative approach to smart cities projects is uniting significant stakeholders to help make the San Diego region a leader in the smart cities movement. This world-class panel will focus on the importance of a unified vision and regional accelerated collaboration. 

Latest Trends in UAV

Moderator: Amir Amadi, President and CEO, Skylift Global

Allan Matthew, Research and Development Manager, Planck Aerosystems
Eric Maglio, CTO, Straight Up Imaging
Jeff Debrosse Founder and CTO, NXT Robotics
Jeff Wurzbach, CEO/Founder/Engineer, Electronics, Inc.
Olivier Brousse, CEO, 3dVistas

This active Panel and Presentation will cover the following topics:

  • Overview of multirotor drone technology: This seminar will present an overview of multirotor drone technology from an engineering perspective, from sensors to system components to flight controllers and software, and from theory to practice. Covering the field broadly will be the main objective, but also to drill down and touch on the basic principles and underlying technology necessary to make a drone fly. To this end the course will “lift the hood”, and further expose how drone engineering integrates both theoretical and practical concepts from the fields of Aerospace, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, along with Computer Science. From there it will cover the many applications these new aerial robotic tools can be used for. 
  • Small UAVs VTOLs: A comparative survey and recent advances: The ability to hover, along with taking off and landing vertically, has until recently been a unique advantage of multirotor and helicopter small UAVs. Fixed wing UAVs, meanwhile, have a long history of superior characteristics when it comes to range, speed, and flight autonomy. This session will explore and compare the properties of those architectures from an analytical and practical point of view, and introduce current approaches and recently available VTOL implementations aimed at bringing the best of both worlds. 
  • Applications of on-board computer vision for sUAS: From hardware to software, and from theory to practice SLAM (Simultaneous Local and Mapping ), visual odometry, real time feature detection and obstacle avoidance, deep learning neural networks. These are but a few of many topics related to computer vision that are currently being investigated for various applications on board small UAVs. This session will present a hardware and software overview of computer vision techniques that are currently and practically contributing to making aerial robots ever more intelligent. 
  • Summary of recent drone regulations and how the regulations will impact the industry and tech development

IOT Technologies and Applications

Moderator: Christopher Rowan, Founder and Lead Partner at Arscientia

Darin Andersen, Chairman and Founder at CyberTECH, CEO of NXT Robotics
Mark O’Keefe, General Manager, Honeywell Security and Custom Applications
Rana Basheer PhD, Co-founder and CTO, Edyza, Orange County
Ted Harrington, Executive Partner, Independent Security Evaluators
Rasmus Hellberg PhD, Senior Director of Technical Marketing at Qualcomm

This panel will address some of the latest issues in IOT technologies and applications. The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most exciting technological developments in the world today, with applications spanning across consumables (wearables, home automation, wellness), commercial (retail, building, logistics), industrial (manufacturing, energy, transportation), and the public sector (smart cities and regions, public safety, security and healthcare). This panel will address Privacy/Security concerns for IOT and upcoming solutions, industry-offerings in the context of 5G, Wireless Sensor Networks, SmartCities, Vertical Applications and the Cloud.”

Topics Include:

  • What are the top 5 impacts of IOT across the application domain, taking a domain as a case study?
  • What are the top challenges for Security and Privacy in the context of IOT and the most promising solutions with cyber security?
  • What will a global ecosystem for Internet of Things (IoT) network look like, that provides cybersecurity and IoT resources?
  • How do privacy and security concerns impact the design of IOT products, devices, sensors, applications? What are the challenges, best practices, tradeoffs and the decisions being made in industry at this time?
  • What are the top challenges in deploying Wireless Sensor Networks in industrial and public sector IOT applications? What are the best practices in energy harvesting, firmware, channel access and secured data transfer.

Blue Tech

Moderator: Karen Dubey

Liane Thompson– CEO, Aquai
Darryl Symonds - Director of Marine Measurements Product Lines, Teledyne RDI
Leonard Pool - Managing Director, Sidus Solutions
Benjamin Migliori, Ph.D. – Prinicipal Investigator SPAWAR, Interdisciplinary Physicist and Neuroscientist
Michael Brunch – Chief Engineer for Robotics at SSC Pacific

Blue Tech is defined as the innovation of technology in the maritime domain. This panel discussion will explore how companies in this sector, experienced and startup, are participating in this increasingly important field. The panel will then discuss how they envision the Blue Tech business growing in San Diego and beyond in the coming years. This interactive session will include time for audience questions.

Genomics Panel: Making Precision Medicine More Accessible Through Genomics

Moderator: TBA

John P, Illumina
Rami Mehio, VP Engineering, Edico Genome
Nilesh Dharajiya, MD - Pathway Genomics

This panel discussion will focus on the progression of personalized healthcare through the adoption of genomics. Precision medicine is the next generation of healthcare, weaving information provided through a patient’s genome into the disease treatment and prevention process. Edico Genome, Illumina and Pathway Genomics each play a vital role in making precision medicine more accessible, and will discuss their role and how their technologies enable this progression.

Closing Reception & Invitation to ENVI, Dec 8 at Coleman University

Hopper Hall - Evening Reception
Moderator: Upkar Dhaliwal

Introduction to ENVI-US - Dr. Jim Burns – Executive Director of (Electric and Networked Vehicle Institute – Unmanned Systems) Continuous Demonstrations within the ENVI-US building include the following:

  • Autonomous Drone UAV Demonstration – including lab where Drones are constructed
  • Autonomous Racing Car Demonstration
  • Autonomous Submarine Project – RoboSub
  • Autonomous Mars Vehicle Project – Spyderbyte
  • EV-powered Supercar Project

IEEE Visitors are welcome to visit and network either in Hopper Hall (with food) or in ENVI-US. online safety entry waivers need to be completed by all at

Registration pricing

Member - US$99  

Non-Member - US$119

Pre-Smart Tech Social - Leveraging Technology for a Better Tomorrow

Thursday, 7th December 2017, 6.00 PM -8.30 PM
ScaleMatrix, 5775 Kearny Villa Road, San Diego, CA 92123


Meet-up info

See what past attendees have to say


  • "This was one of the best investments that I have made in my professional life. Thank you for making this opportunity available for me."
  • "Events like this significantly increase the value of IEEE membership."
  • "My interest in IEEE is rekindled. For me the IEEE has struck a note by focusing on the need for reputable and affordable resources for career and skill development and training. This is not available through our employers. And going back to school for graduate or post-grad education is not feasible in terms of money or time."
  • "I was very impressed with the instructors. They seemed to enjoy being there and really stressed that IEEE's goal is to serve its members. They were very approachable and seemed to be interested in speaking with you."
  • "Thanks for your efforts. It was a successful event to meet my needs. I hope there will be another event pretty soon."
  • "I was very pleased with the quality of the material and professionalism exhibited by IEEE at the workshop. Well done."