Archive for February, 2012

The 23rd Midwest Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science Conference

The 23rd Midwest Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science Conference
April 21-22, 2012
Engineering Research Center
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH, USA.

Paper submission deadline: February 24, 2012

For more information please visit

or write to the MAICS conference E-mail address:

February 20th, 2012

Special Member/ Non-Member Meeting!!! Linux Install Fest

Linux Install Fest

(updated 2/23/2012)

 Feb 25th, 2012

 Pizza provided by IEEE.

 Cost:  Complementary

Did you know that Linux operating systems runs the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world? Linux is an open source OS that runs on a variety of platforms ranging from televisions and network routers to mainframes and supercomputers. (

Would you like to harness the power of Linux to breathe life into an old computer, or set up a computer to dual boot? The students at UC’s IEEE chapter have graciously offered to host a Linux Install Fest and provide their assistance to anyone who wants to install Linux on their computer.

This is a great opportunity to introduce a friend or co-worker to the Cincinnati IEEE.

Please bring a computer. The students will provide the expertise. Your IEEE will provide the pizza lunch.

Install Fest: 11:00 – 2:00

Pizza Lunch: 12:00

 Meeting Location: 

Rec Center 3220

UC Main (Clifton) Campus   Cincinnati, Ohio   United States 45221



Park in the Woodside Garage, under the main library (entrance off Martin Luther King).

 Take the stairs/ elevator to the 4th floor, exit the library and you will be facing horseshoe of buildings (ERC on the left, Rhodes straight ahead, and Zimmer to the right). Enter the middle of ERC and the room will be on the left.

 Reservations:  There is no cost to attend, but we do request that you register in advance so we can plan accordingly.  You may register at: 

(In the event of inclement weather, please check the section site for cancellation or other information at:

 Contact: Philip Wilsey at  for more information.


February 15th, 2012

Call for speaker

The IEEE-USA conference will be held in Cincinnati, OH this year.  The program begins the evening of 3 May and continues until lunch time on 6 May 2012.  The theme for this conference is Innovation taking Flight.  The Cincinnati section is a co-sponsor with the Dayton and Columbus sections.  The main plenary program begins on Friday, 4 May.  The Cincinnati section has a 20 minute time slot assigned for a speaker at 11:00 a.m. Friday.  The Executive committee for our Cincinnati section is looking for a person that would be willing to prepare and give this short speech.  Contact Stephen Fridrick, chair, for more information.  (, 513-243-5361)

February 15th, 2012


Tour of AMP Electric Vehicles


Thursday, February 23, 2012  (Limited)


Amp Electric Vehicles (see below for directions)


5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. –  Pizza & Social


6:30 p.m. to ~8:00 p.m. –  Presentation/Tour


$5 for Pizza.  (Not required to attend meeting)



MENU SELECTIONS:   Pizza and water provided, vending machine available for soft drinks


LOCATION:  AMP Electric Vehicles, 100 Commerce Drive

(aka Commerce Blvd and Commerce Way)  Loveland,  Ohio  45140

From Montgomery Road, turn south-east onto Union Cemetery Rd. Turn right at the first street; Commerce Blvd (it may say Commerce Drive). Do a U-Turn at the first opening in center median, then turn right into parking lot of AMP Electric Vehicles. Use the main entrance of the building. If the parking lot is full, turn right onto Union Cemetery Rd, and then turn right into the rear parking lot of AMP Electric Vehicle.

RESERVATIONS:  (LIMITED TO 30- MEMBERS ONLY FOR THIS MEETING) Please make reservations for each meeting by going to:  Please click on the appropriate link and complete the reservation. 

Reservations close at noon on February 16th, 2012.

An email to prior to the close of reservations is required to properly cancel your reservation.

All Reservations must be made by noon, Thursday February 16, 2012

 PE CREDITS:  Depending on the subject matter, attendance at IEEE Cincinnati Section Meetings now qualifies the attendee for Professional Development Hours towards renewal of Professional Engineers Licenses. Required documentation will be available following the meeting!  The Section Meetings also provide a great opportunity to network with fellow engineers in the area.



This meeting will be held at the AMP Electric Vehicles manufacturing facility in Loveland, OH. Following a pizza dinner, attendees will receive a technical presentation on the vehicles, the motors and the batteries by Don Wires, Director of Engineering, of AMP Electric Vehicles. The presentation will be followed by a Question and Answer session, and a tour of manufacturing facility.

You must be an IEEE member to attend this meeting!  Space is limited to 30 attendees!


Don Wires:   Mr. Wires joined Amp Electric Vehicles after retiring from Procter and Gamble after 35 years. Mr. Wires was the first Technology Associated Director for Power, Control, & Information Systems at P&G. While at P&G Mr. Wires focused on advanced manufacturing processes across most of the company’s brands, with particular emphasis on high speed converting machine processes. Mr. Wires was responsible for the machine control direction for converting operations on a global basis, is co-author of several patents on machine automation and safety systems, and an early leader in developing a mechatronics approach to complex machine design at P&G. Mr. Wires was responsible for setting the automation direction on projects as large as one billion dollars across the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia, He was instrumental in applying servo technology to high speed converting processes. He is the first Engineering Technology Distinguished Alumni Graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science.

February 7th, 2012


If you are interested in upgrading your membership to Senior Member, please contact any member of the Executive Committee.


The following individuals are IEEE members who are new to our Section: 


Nick Aerni

Ken Baker

Asitha Bandaranayake

Amal Chaturvedi

James Damato

Ronald Dexter

Tyler Gaerke

Richard Harrell

Jordan Laycock

Jason Long

Chad Mclelland

Joshua Smith

Krishnan Venkat

Nathan Wendt

Xinyu Xing




We wish to welcome these members to the Cincinnati Section!!!

February 7th, 2012

Scanning the Past: A History of Electrical Engineering from the Past

Submitted by Marc Bell, Editor

Copyright 1997 IEEE. Reprinted with permission from the IEEE publication, “Scanning the Past” which covers a reprint of an article appearing in the Proceedings of the IEEE Vol. 85, No. 7, July 1997.

Frank J. Sprague and the Electrification of Urban Transportation

Frank J. Sprague (Fig. 1), known for his pioneering contributions to electric traction, electric elevators, and other applications of electric motors, was born 140 years ago this month. In recognition of his achievements in the field of electric power, he received the Edison Medal of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) in 1910. He also served as president of the AIEE during 1892-1893.

The son of the plant superintendent of a hat factory, Sprague was born in Milford, CT, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1878, the same year that the Edison Electric Light Company was incorporated. He served for about two years on a naval ship known as the Richmond and acted as a special correspondent of the Boston Herald while General Ulysses S. Grant spent time on the ship during visits to China and Japan. Subsequently, Sprague served aboard the Lancaster, stationed in the Mediterranean, and installed an electric call bell on the ship. He managed to observe an exhibition of electric lighting systems, including that of Edison, in Paris, France in 1881.

In 1882, Ensign Sprague was granted leave to attend and report on the Crystal Palace Electrical Exhibition in London, England. He served on the awards jury for exhibits of dynamos, electric lights, and gas engines and wrote a 169-page report for the Department of the Navy. His report included a comparison of arc and incandescent lamps and predicted that “the incandescent lamp will generally take the place of the arc lamp.” He praised the Edison lighting system and wrote that Edison “without doubt, has done more than all others, and while his system is by no means yet perfect, it is unquestionably far ahead of the work of anyone else.”

Soon after he completed his report on the Crystal Palace exhibits, Sprague left the Navy to work for Edison. Sprague recognized the commercial potential of direct-current elec­tric motors and designed an exhibit featuring motors for an electrical exhibition in Philadelphia, PA, in 1884. He then left Edison to organize the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company, which found a growing market for small motors suitable for driving machine tools, printing presses, and household appliances. By 1889, it was reported that Sprague motors were “to be found in well nigh every city of the Union, to the aggregate of thousands of horsepower.”

In 1887, Sprague contracted to install a 12-mile electric street railway with 40 cars in the city of Richmond, VA (Fig. 2). The Richmond transit system became operational in 1888 and was widely regarded as the prototype for an industry that expanded to about 44000 miles of track by 1917. The success in Richmond led Sprague to present an AIEE paper entitled “The Solution of Municipal Rapid Transit” in June 1888. He stated in his introduction the importance of the transit issue, especially for cities such as New York, and expressed the hope that his paper might precipitate a “general discussion of the subject, not only among electrical men but the general public as well.” He included economic data on existing horse railway systems and also compared his system with cable and steam railway systems. In addition to economic advantages, he wrote that “the riding of an electrical car is far easier than that of any cable or horse car, starting and stopping more easily, and being in a large measure free from lurching and oscillation.” He continued that “there is no dust such as rises from the heels of horses. The sanitary conditions are entirely altered, and the health and comfort of the whole population is conserved. Stables with all their unsavory characteristics and the consequent depreciation of the value of adjacent real estate disappear.”

Fig. 2. A closed car on the Richmond, VA, railway. (From Frank J. Sprague, “The Solution of Municipal Rapid Transit,” A1EE Trans., vol. 5, 1888.)

Sprague continued in his role of innovator through the development of vertical urban transportation in the form of the electric elevator. He organized the Sprague Elec­tric Elevator Company in 1892 after selling his previous company to Edison General Electric in 1890. He installed several hundred elevators before selling the business to the Otis Elevator Company. His work on elevator control led him to invent a multiple-unit control suitable for trains with individually powered cars (Fig. 3). This control system was introduced on the South Side Elevated Railway in Chicago, IL, in 1897. Sprague served on a commission appointed to arrange the electrification of Grand Central Terminal in New York City during 1903-1908. He remained a strong advocate of direct-current drive for interurban service such as that used by New York Central, which began using electric locomotives in 1906. (Fig. 4) Sprague served as a member of the Naval Consulting Board during World War I. An earlier biographical sketch described him as “keen of glance, restless, and quick of thought and action.”

Fig. 3. A Manhattan Elevated Railway train was an important application of the multiple unit system of control in an urban environment. (From The New York Electrical Handbook. New York: AIEE, 1904.)

It continued that “when taking part in public discussion he is simply the despair of stenographers, and like one of his own motors, maintains the speed no matter how great the load of argument.” Sprague died in 1934 at age 77.

Fig. 4.    A view of a New York Central electric locomotive. (From The New York Electrical Handbook.    New York: AIEE, 1904.)


James E. Brittain

February 7th, 2012


2001 L Street, N.W., Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036-4910

White House Official, Environmental Policy Analyst to Deliver Keynotes at Carbon Management Technology Conference in Orlando in February

WASHINGTON (28 December 2011) — Katharine Jacobs of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Robert Fri, visiting scholar at Resources for the Future, will deliver keynote addresses at the first Carbon Management Technology Conference, 7-9 February 2012 in Orlando, Fla.

Jacobs, assistant director, climate adaptation and assessment in the OSTP Environment and Energy Division, will discuss “Climate Change Adaptation in the United States” on Tuesday, 7 February. Fri, who has more than 35 years experience as an administrator and analyst of energy and environmental policy, will discuss “America’s Climate Choices” the next day.

The conference, sponsored by eight engineering societies, will bring together key stakeholders to share the latest technologies, strategies and systems related to the management and containment of carbon production. The technical program features more than 200 presentations on key topics such as business risks of carbon counting, innovative approaches to measuring IT system sustainability, research and development, and greenhouse gas quantification and measurement methods.

“Engineers from a wide range of engineering disciplines will share their perspectives on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to the risks of climate change,” said Haroon Kheshgi, conference chair and head of ExxonMobil’s global climate change science program.

Jim Howard, 2012 IEEE-USA president, is scheduled to be a panelist on the opening plenary session, “Leading Engineering Engagement in Carbon Management.” For more on the technical program, see

For more information and to register, go to

The Carbon Management Technology Conference is sponsored and organized by IEEE-USA, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Association for Iron and Steel Technology, the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. It is also supported in part by a grant from the United Engineering Foundation.

For sponsorship and advertising opportunities, see

 IEEE-USA Supports Inventors’ Rights in Brief before U.S. Supreme Court, Oral Arguments Heard Today

 WASHINGTON (9 January 2012) — A brief IEEE-USA filed in support of inventors’ rights was part of a case the U.S. Supreme Court heard today.

“The court reviewed inventors’ rights this morning and IEEE-USA was pleased to take the side of innovators and major technology companies,” said Chris Katopis, a Washington, D.C., intellectual property attorney and former U.S. Patent and Trade Office executive who wrote the amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on behalf of IEEE-USA.

The question before the court in Kappos v. Hyatt is whether an inventor who has been denied a patent by the PTO may present new evidence that the person had but did not present in the original application. In a 6-2-1 appellate decision, the Federal Circuit ruled in November 2010 that the PTO must accept a petitioner’s new evidence.

In its brief – which has been paraphrased – IEEE-USA wrote:

IEEE-USA recognizes the important role of judicial review – namely preserving an inventor’s access to the courts – as established by Congress in the 1836 Patent Act, as a check on the PTO’s judgment, procedural regularity and patent quality. Today’s case raises crucial questions concerning the nature and scope of a civil action pursuant to the act and an inventor’s rights upon judicial review. The Patent Act provides a statutory basis for a disappointed patent applicant to introduce new evidence and to have the evidence reviewed de novo (anew) by a district court. Second, the case will help define the PTO director’s ultimate rule-making authority under the Administrative Procedure Act, especially concerning patent application examination processes and judicial review. This case deals with important substantive and procedural questions regarding inventors’ rights and patent law, areas of law important to U.S. IEEE members and the innovation ecosystem for scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and investors.

The IEEE-USA brief is accessible at 

‘Electrons Don’t Come From Heaven,’ Speaker will Say at Carbon Management Technology Conference in Orlando

WASHINGTON (25 January 2012) — Heated discussions are underway concerning the impact of advanced electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and current hybrid EVs on energy efficiency and the environment. A panel of experts will examine these issues during the Carbon Management Technology Conference, 7-9 February 2012 in Orlando, Fla.

“My key point is to remind everyone that electrons don’t come from heaven,” said Dale Simbeck, vice president, technology of SFA Pacific. “I see that way too often in promoting electric vehicles.”

Simbeck will be joined by Drs. Veronika Rabl and Saifur Rahman in discussing “Issues in Assessing Electric and Hybrid Transportation,” on Wednesday 8 February from 1:30-3 p.m.

Simbeck was a lead author of the 2005 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report, “Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage: A Summary for Policymakers.” His presentation will include a look at the source energy needed to generate the electricity to power EVs and PHEVs.

Rabl is IEEE’s lead technical member of the Engineering Founder Societies Technology for Carbon Management Grand Challenge Initiative. Vice chair of the IEEE-USA Energy Policy Committee, she will talk about reasons for electrifying the transportation system, including decarbonization, oil displacement, increased energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact.

Rahman, an IEEE Fellow, is the Joseph Loring Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. He plans to discuss the impact and challenges of large-scale EV penetration at the transmission and distribution level.

“If you were to add a million EVs today spread around the United States, no one would notice it at the transmission level,” Rahman said. “But if you put two EVs on a street on the same transformer, you’ve got a problem unless we can manage other loads — such as the electric water heater, clothes dryer, air conditioner and electric oven.”

The CMTC technical program will feature more than 200 presentations on key topics such as business risks of carbon counting, climate change effects on engineering design environments and integrating carbon management technologies into the power grid. See

To register, go to

February 7th, 2012


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