Archive for March, 2012

March 2012- Section Meeting Information

Tour of Duke Energy’s Envision Center in Erlanger, KY

DATE:       Thursday, March 22, 2009

PLACE :    Duke Energy’s Envision Center (see below for directions)  4580 Olympic Blvd  Erlanger, KY 41018


5:30 p.m. – Social

6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. –  Pizza and soft drinks provided 

6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. –  Presentation and Tour


Cost:  $5 to cover the Pizza and drinks.  (Purchasing Dinner is not required to attend the meeting.)


ABOUT THE MEETING:  This month’s meeting consists of a tour of Duke Energy’s Envision Center Located in Erlanger, Kentucky, Duke Energy’s Envision Center provides visitors a dynamic experience that demonstrates the possibilities of modernizing to smart grid and energy efficient technology.The center features a movie-style studio with sets consisting of a substation with two-way digital technology, a smart home – complete with solar panels and a plug-in hybrid vehicle, an apartment complex with smart meters and a power delivery work center – monitoring conditions with real-time data. Electric poles equipped with intelligent power equipment are also staged throughout.Center visitors can watch video presentations that showcase a day in the life of a variety of energy customers in the year 2015. Visitors will also experience simulated demonstrations such as a thunderstorm, lightning strike and power outage. Home simulations feature the use of an energy-management system to control high efficiency appliances (e.g., dishwasher, water heater, HVAC equipment).Smart grid technology will enable:• Improved system reliability and operational efficiency• Quicker and more accurate response to outages• Greater customer offerings (e.g., energy efficiency programs and payment options)• New tools and programs that enable customers to predict and gain control of energy usage.The center also promotes the importance of renewable power to meet the energy needs of tomorrow and how customers can play an important role in helping us reduce our carbon footprint.

 Click on the following link to see a WKRC-TV news report on the Envision Center:


 RESERVATIONS:  (Meeting is LIMITED TO 35 ONLY ) Please make reservations for each meeting by going to:  Please click on the appropriate link and complete the reservation. 

 Reservations close at noon on March 19th, 2012.

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

 All Reservations must be made by noon, March 19, 2012

Anyone wishing to carpool please send an email to with their email, phone, area of town, and suggested meeting location and we’ll try to match up interested parties.

 Directions:4580 Olympic Blvd, Erlanger, KY 41018From Cincinnati, OH:­ Take I-75/I-71 South into Kentucky to I-275 West (towards the airport) ­ Take Mineola Pike Exit (first exit off of I-275)­ GO LEFT on Mineola Pike­ At the second stop light, GO LEFT onto Olympic Blvd.­ Travel down Olympic Blvd past companies like Toyota and Pepsi­ The Envision Center is located in the last building on the left – Building C – before you intersect Turfway Road­ GO RIGHT into the parking lot in front of Building C. The Envision Center is at the end

From North:­ Take I-71 South toward Cincinnati, OH­ Merge onto I-71 South via Exit 99A on the LEFT toward Cincinnati (crossing into Kentucky)­ Take I-75/I-71 South into Kentucky to I-275 West (towards the airport)­ Take Mineola Pike Exit (first exit off of I-275)­ GO LEFT on Mineola Pike­ At the second stop light, GO LEFT onto Olympic Blvd.­ Travel down Olympic Blvd past companies like Toyota and Pepsi­ The Envision Center is located in the last building on the left – Building C – before you intersect Turfway Road­ GO RIGHT into the parking lot in front of Building C. The Envision Center is at the end

From Greater Cincinnati / N Ky Airport:­ Take I-275 East ­ Take Mineola Pike Exit­ RIGHT on Mineola Pike­ LEFT onto Olympic Blvd.­ Travel down Olympic Blvd past companies like Toyota and Pepsi­ The Envision Center is located in the last building on the left – Building C – before you intersect Turfway Road­ GO RIGHT into the parking lot in front of Building C. The Envision Center is at the end

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.

March 5th, 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:


Arnold Arrington

Robert Brown

Tuhin Mukherjee

Saeed Alamri

Ahmed Alharby

William Allen

Hussain Almohamme d Ali


Jerod Bond

Stephen Brothers

James Cline

Rahul Gupta

Vikas Joshi

Benjamin McCray

Nicholas Waldbillig



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

March 5th, 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, “

 Harold S. Black and the Negative Feedback Amplifier

Scanning the Past” which covers a reprint of an article appearing in the Proceedings of the IEEE Vol. 85, No. 8, August 1997.

Seventy years ago this month, H. S. Black (Fig. 1) of Bell Telephone Laboratories conceived the negative feedback amplifier while aboard the Lackawanna Ferry on his way to work. Thirty years later, M. J. Kelly, president of the Bell Labs, characterized Black’s invention as ranking with the de Forest audion “as one of the two inventions of broadest scope and significance in electronics and communications of the past 50 years.” Kelly credited the negative feed­back amplifier with having made possible the long-distance telecommunications networks that covered the country, as well as transoceanic telephone cables. He noted that by 1957, the application of the negative feedback principle had transcended telecommunications and had stimulated “the entire explosive extension of the area of control, both electrical and mechanical.”

Black was born in Leominister, MA, in 1898 and grad­uated in electrical engineering from the Worcester Poly­technic Institute in 1921. That year, he joined the Systems Engineering Department of the Western Electric Company in New York City, which became part of Bell Laboratories in 1925. He frequently came to the office on Sundays to peruse technical reports on projects covering the past two decades. His initial assignment was to investigate distortion in vacuum-tube amplifiers used as repeaters in telephonic carrier systems. He undertook a laborious analysis of distor­tion and linearity requirements as a function of the number of channels and designed various amplifiers in a quest for circuits suitable for multichannel amplifiers used in tandem over long distances. During the 1920’s, he worked closely with Kelly, who was in charge of vacuum-tube research.

 In March 1923, Black attended an inspiring talk by C. P. Steinmetz, which, according to Black, provided a stimulus to his invention of a “feedforward amplifier.” This invention, which he patented in 1928, utilized biconjugate networks to isolate and cancel distortion. The technique proved fairly successful in laboratory tests but required frequent adjustment of the filament current and plate voltage and was too complicated to use commercially. Thus, it was in the context of a research effort extending over a number of years that Black came up with the negative feedback concept in early August 1927.

He sketched out a preliminary design, including feedback equations, on a blank page of The New York Times and had it witnessed and signed when he arrived at work (Fig. 2). By December 1927, he demonstrated a large reduction in distortion in an actual amplifier using negative feedback. Field tests were carried out in the vicinity of Morristown, NJ, during 1930-1931 using a nine-channel system with about 70 repeaters. These experiments proved highly successful and convinced even more skeptical engineers that the negative feedback amplifier was the long-sought solution to the problem of distortion in long-distance telephone networks where numerous repeaters were-needed.

 Black’s classic paper entitled “Stabilized Feed-Back Am­plifiers” appeared in Electrical Engineering, a publication of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AJEE), in January 1934. He pointed out in this paper that the use of negative feedback in a high-gain amplifier enabled “extraordinary improvement in Constance of amplification and freedom from nonlinearity.” He reported the Mor­ristown tests and stated that results had been “highly satisfactory and demonstrated conclusively the correctness of the theory and the practicability of its commercial application.” He cited a related contribution made by his colleague H. Nyquist, who had developed a precise criterion for the stability of feedback amplifiers. Black concluded that vacuum-tube amplifiers “normally possessing good characteristics with respect to stability and freedom from distortion are made to possess superlatively good charac­teristics by application of the feed-back principle.” Black’s patent on the negative feedback amplifier featured broad claims and included 42 pages of text, 33 pages of figures, and nine pages of claims. Although he applied for the patent in August 1928, it was not issued until December 1937. It was required reading in at least one graduate course in electronics offered in the late 1950’s.

During World War II, Black made important contributions to the theory and applications of pulse-code modulation. His book Modulation Theory was published in 1953. He was elected a fellow of the ATEE in 1941 and was awarded the Lamme Medal by the AIEE in 1957 as recognition for the invention of the negative feedback amplifier and other contributions to telecommunications engineering (Fig. 3). He also was elected a fellow of the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1948. He retired from Bell Labs in 1963 and then worked for about three years as a research scientist with the General Precision Company. In later years, he was an independent communications consultant. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1981. He did some preliminary work on an autobiography with the tentative title Before the Ferry Docked but it remained unfinished when he died in December 1983 at age 85.

James E. Brittain

March 5th, 2012


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

 IEEE-USA Contributes to Another Successful EWeek in Nation’s Capital
WASHINGTON (28 February 2012) — From Discover Engineering Family Day to the Future City Competition National Finals, IEEE-USA played a key role in last week’s successful National Engineers Week events in the nation’s capital. The IEEE/IEEE-USA New Face of Engineering — Professional Edition was also unveiled.
Discover Engineering Family Day
Family Day got EWeek (19-25 February) started a day early when 9,596 visitors came to the National Building Museum to learn about basic engineering concepts. At IEEE-USA’s exhibit, nine local IEEE members volunteered to demonstrate:

* The greater energy efficiency of LED and CFL light bulbs vs. incandescent bulbs
* How a model dance pad from PBS’ “Design Squad Nation” TV show converts mechanical energy into light and sound energy
* What type of materials conduct electricity, using the Design Squad activity “Electric Highway”
* Internal components of an MP3 player, printer and computer

Former astronaut Dr. Roger Crouch, a payload specialist on two Space Shuttle Columbia missions in 1997, signed autographs and posed for photos throughout the day.

IEEE-USA, which helped launch the first Family Day in 1993, is one of the event’s major sponsors. See Washington FOX 5 coverage at  

National Engineers Week Future City Competition

Murty Polavarapu, IEEE-USA’s representative on the EWeek Steering Committee, presented awards at the Future City Competition National Finals in Crystal City, Va., on 21 February. Our Lady Help of Christians School of Abington, Pa. — the Philadelphia regional champion — won third place for its Future City, Tecumseh. Students Joel Hediger, Meredith Moore and Rebecca Reilly, teacher Jane Ring and engineer/mentor Mike DiCamillo won a $2,000 scholarship — provided by IEEE-USA — for the school’s science and technology program.

Polavarapu also presented the IEEE-USA Best Communications System Award to Valley Middle School of Oakland, N.J. The New Jersey regional champion was recognized for having the most “efficient and accurate communications system.” Its future city, Acqavite di Capri, is set in 2,067. Citizens communicate through “Divergent Optical Technology” and “Computerized Contact Lenses.”

Team members included eighth graders Ashwin Anbu, Jade Pace and Dean Michael Trivisani, engineer/mentor Robert Akovity and the school’s gifted and talented teacher, Judith Vihonski. It is the 11th consecutive year Valley has qualified for the Future City National Finals. In addition to the plaques each team member received, the children will each be sent a $100 U.S. Savings Bond.

Polavarapu judged the IEEE-USA Best Communications System Award with fellow Virginia IEEE member Maria Rodriguez. Thirty-seven regional-winning teams vied for the prize.

St. Mary Parish School of Hales Corners, Wis., was the overall national champion. See

Conceived in IEEE-USA offices in 1992, the Future City Competition is designed to promote technological literacy and engineering to middle school students. Under the guidance of an engineer and teacher, children create their own vision of a future city, working first on computer and then constructing three-dimensional scale models. The students also have to write an essay about a predetermined challenge the city might face.

More than 1,300 schools and 35,000 students from across the United States competed during the 2011-12 season.

New Faces of Engineering

Dr. Jacquelyn K. Nagel, an assistant professor in the James Madison University School of Engineering, was chosen as the IEEE/IEEE-USA New Face of Engineering — Professional Edition. The New Faces program is sponsored by the National Engineers Week Foundation, a coalition of engineering societies, major corporations and government agencies. The program highlights the vitality, diversity and rich contributions of engineers under 30.

Nagel is conducting pioneering research in the use of biological systems as models for sensors, processes and instrumentation. She has contributed to numerous journal articles, book chapters and peer-reviewed conference articles, and is active in IEEE, ASME and the Society of Women Engineers. She worked as a blogging team member during the 2009 IEEE-USA Annual Meeting and, from 2009-11, served on IEEE-USA’s American Institute of Physics “Discoveries and Breakthroughs Inside Science” editorial board.

Jeremy Blum, an electrical and computer engineering student at Cornell University, was previously recognized as the IEEE/IEEE-USA New Face of Engineering — College Edition.

 IEEE-USA Presents $5,000 in Student Awards to Undergraduates from Three Universities; U.S. IEEE Student Members Recognized for Creating YouTube Videos for Youngsters on “How Engineers Make a World of Difference”
WASHINGTON (17 February 2012) — U.S. undergraduate students from Tufts University in Boston, the University of California at Berkeley, and Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, are being recognized by IEEE-USA during National Engineers Week for creating inspirational 90-second YouTube videos for youngsters 11- to 13-years-old on “How Engineers Make a World of Difference.”

In announcing the $5,000 in student awards for IEEE-USA’s fifth annual online engineering video scholarship award competition, Nita Patel, IEEE-USA vice president of communications and public awareness, praised the quality and diversity of the entries:

— $1,500 to Kristen Ford (and her team) at Tufts for best in content and message, reinforcing that engineers and technical professionals are creative people who seek to make life better for all

— $1,500 to Matthias Mentink (and his team) at Berkeley for best production quality and most professional look

— $1,500 to Paul Stocklin at Ohio University for the most-viewed submission as of the competition deadline

In addition, $50 in Amazon gift cards will be awarded to each of the three winning team leaders, as well as to all of the entering team leaders.  

Kristen Ford, of Tufts, a human factors engineering major, and vice president of the university’s National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), observed that the NSBE chapter’s entry should encourage teens “to dream bigger, reach higher and achieve more.”
Berkeley’s video from IEEE Student Member Matthias Mentink showed in earthquake-prone areas like San Francisco “how engineers make things stronger and better; so that when the next earthquake occurs, we’ll be ready for it.”
And IEEE student member Paul Stocklin of Ohio University noted that his video garnered the most views by the competition deadline through early entry and use of social media with family and friends, including friends from gaming and online forums.  

To view this year’s winning entries, and entries from four previous years, see

In the 2011-12 online video scholarship competition, entries were also received from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Norfolk State University, Virginia State University and the University of Texas at Dallas.

For the fifth consecutive year, IEEE-USA’s judging panel was formed by: Andrew Quecan, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering at Stanford University and J.D. candidate at the University of Texas; Suzette Aguilar, a Ph.D. student in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Wisconsin; and Nate Ball, mechanical engineer and former host of PBS’ “Design Squad Nation.”

According to IEEE-USA’s Patel, the organization’s video competition was designed to be replicated in IEEE student sections both in and outside of the United States. In addition to views on YouTube, the winning entries are seen by the 11- to 13-year-old audience on “Design Squad Nation’s” Web site.

 IEEE Homeland Security Conference Seeks Technical Papers, Posters, Tutorials
WASHINGTON (17 February 2012) — Organizers of the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security (HST ’12) are seeking technical papers, posters and tutorials in the following areas:

 * Cyber Security
 * Attack & Disaster Preparation, Recovery & Response
 * Borders & Maritime Security
 * Biometrics & Forensics

Accepted papers will be published by IEEE and presented at HST ’12 at the Westin Waltham Boston in Waltham, Mass., USA, 13-15 November 2012. At least one author of an accepted paper is required to register for the conference and pay the conference fee.  

The event, 12th in an annual series, will bring together leading researchers and innovators working on technologies designed to deter and prevent homeland attacks, protect critical infrastructures and people, mitigate damage and expedite recovery. Input from international partners is encouraged.

Papers should focus on technologies capable of deployment within five years, particularly applied research addressing areas in which breakthroughs are needed. Proposals should be no more than 500 words. Tutorial and poster submissions should include a one-page abstract and one-page biography.

Important 2012 submission dates, by midnight eastern time:
 * Paper abstract deadline — 16 March
 * Paper acceptance notification — 6 April
 * Tutorial proposal & final paper submission deadline — 31 May
 * Paper, poster & tutorial acceptance notification and review — 29 June
 * Poster abstract submission deadline — 10 July
 * Publication-ready poster abstract paper deadline — 3 September
All submissions must describe original work not previously published or currently under review for publication in another conference or journal. See instructions: .

For more information on submitting papers, posters and tutorial proposals to HST ’12, go to

Suggestions for topics to be discussed in the business program are also sought. Send ideas to

For general information on HST ’12, see or email

Nearly 400 people attended the 2011 conference, including representatives from 14 foreign countries.

HST ’12 is produced by IEEE with technical support from the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate, IEEE Biometrics Council, IEEE Boston Section ( and IEEE-USA. MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Raytheon, MITRE and Battelle are providing organizational support.

 IEEE-USA E-Book on Guidelines for Professional Employment Available Free as Special Benefit to IEEE Members
WASHINGTON (13 February 2012) — As a special benefit of IEEE membership for February, IEEE-USA is offering a free e-book, “Guidelines for Professional Employment — A Framework for Communication.”

The e-book, prepared by the IEEE-USA Employment and Career Services Committee, is designed to help employers and employees understand workplace conditions fully and clearly and provide guidance toward behavior beneficial to the country and the engineering profession. Regular discussion of these guidelines among employers, managers, human resources personnel and engineers helps to provide a basis for enhancing their working relationships, and should lead to good workplace communication and cooperation.

IEEE members can get their free download of “Guidelines for Professional Employment — A Framework for Communication” now through 29 February at The nonmember price is $5.99.

In March, IEEE-USA will offer the e-book, “Engineering the Art of Negotiation Part 1: How to Handle Your Boss” free to IEEE members.

 IEEE-USA Offers Free E-Books to Members in March & April: “How to Handle Your Boss” & “How to Handle Your Colleagues”
WASHINGTON (2 March 2012) — As a special benefit to IEEE membership, IEEE-USA is offering a free e-book in March and April. “Engineering the Art of Negotiation — Part 1: How to Handle Your Boss” is offered free this month. In April, members can receive “Engineering the Art of Negotiation — Part 2: How to Handle Your Colleagues.”

“How to Handle Your Boss” demonstrates a practical approach to satisfying people’s interest in how to build a better relationship with their boss. Readers will receive tips on how to make progress in their organization and experience greater career satisfaction by building a better relationship with their employer.

The publication, free to IEEE members, can be downloaded in March at

“How to Handle Your Colleagues” shows you how to get your colleagues to do what you want them to do by having a deep understanding of your interests and theirs; a willingness to listen to your colleagues; and flexibility in seeking solutions that satisfy your needs and the needs of your colleagues. You can apply these lessons to make your professional and personal life less stressful and more rewarding.

Members can download this free e-book in April at:

The nonmember price for each e-book is $5.99.

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of 210,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE. For information on the benefits of IEEE membership, see


Contact: Sharon C. Richardson, Coordinator
IEEE-USA Communications & Publishing
Phone: 1 202 530 8363

March 5th, 2012


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