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Women in Engineering Ambassador’s Programme | 2022 Challenges and Opportunities – Women’s Roles in the Digital Era

IEEE WIE UKI is dedicated to promoting female engineers and scientists and inspiring girls to follow their academic interests to a career in engineering. The IEEE WIE Ambassadors’ Scheme is taking the initiative to encourage females to face the challenges and show them that there is always lots of opportunities and ways to achieve their goals. We, as IEEE WIE UK and Ireland, believe that it’s our role to highlight the challenges and offer more opportunities to encourage more women to join the digital transformation journey.

The “Women’s Roles in Digital Era” webinar will give insight on how professional female engineers can lead and significantly contribute to the digital era, tell us the challenges they might face and how to overcome them to succeed in the digital world.

This webinar will help others to learn by example from other expert engineers and help them make the most of the journey. Engineers from academia and industry will tell us about the different opportunities which will empower us to pursue further opportunities in the different areas of interest.

Male engineers will show how they support women in their career and how they can be role models for others to advance women in technology.

Welcome note : 2022 IEEE President & CEO K. J. Ray Liu

Prof K. J. Ray Liu is the founder and CEO of Origin AI that pioneers AI for wireless sensing and indoor tracking. The invention of wireless AI won three prestigious CES Innovation Awards, including CES Best of Innovation in 2021.

He was Distinguished University Professor and Christine Kim Eminent Professor of Information Technology of the University of Maryland, College Park, from where he retired after a career of more than three decades in education. His research contributions encompass broad aspects of signal processing and communications. He has trained over 70 doctoral/postdoctoral students, of which 10 are now IEEE fellows.

Prof Liu is the recipient of the 2021 IEEE Fourier Technical Field Award for Signal Processing, the 2016 IEEE Leon K. Kirchmayer Graduate Teaching Award, IEEE Signal Processing Society 2014 Society Award, and IEEE Signal Processing Society 2009 Technical Achievement Award. Recognized as a Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher, he is a Fellow of IEEE, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the U.S. National Academy of Inventors.

Prof Liu was the 2019 IEEE Vice President for Technical Activities and a member of the IEEE Board of Directors as Division IX Director in 2016-2017. He has also served as 2012-2013 President of IEEE Signal Processing Society, where he was Vice President for Publications and Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine.

Prof Liu received the B.S. degree from the National Taiwan University in 1983 and the PhD degree from UCLA in 1990, both in electrical engineering.

UK and Ireland Opportunities to Engage Women Within the Digital World: Prof Izzet Kale

Prof Izzet Kale is the Head of the Department of Engineering at the University of Westminster and Director of the Applied DSP and VLSI Research Group, which he founded in the late eighties, where he has undertaken numerous next generation product oriented innovative applied research and development projects/contracts for European, US and Japanese corporations, leading to a number of consumer electronic ICs/products as well as systems.

He has served and continues to serve on the IEEE UK&I Section Committee for a number of years, and is currently the Chapter Chair for the CAS and I&M Chapters.

Research and Innovation for Women – Empowerment for the Digital Transformational Era: Prof Celia Shahnaz

Celia Shahnaz, SMIEEE, Fellow IEB, received a PhD degree from Concordia University, Canada and is currently a professor at, Department of EEE, BUET, Bangladesh since 2015.

She has more than 21 years of experience (21 years as an IEEE volunteer) in leading impactful technical, professional, educational, industrial, women empowerment, humanitarian technology and power and energy related projects at national and international level.

She has been elected as 2022 IEEE WIE Committee Chair-Elect and she will serve as the 2023-2024 IEEE WIE Committee Chair. She has been appointed as 2022-23 Member, IEEE New Initiative Committee, 2021-23 Chair, IEEE SPS Women in Signal Processing, 2021-23 Liaison between IEEE SPS and IEEE WIE. She has been appointed as 2021-22 Member, IEEE History Committee, Liaison between IEEE History Committee and IEEE WIE, 2021 Chair, IEEE WIE History Subcommittee and 2021-22 Member, IEEE Educational Activities Board Faculty Resource Committee. She is the 2022 Member, IEEE WIE Strategic planning Committee, 2020-21 Member, IEEE WIE Senior Member Elevation Drive, and 2019-2021 Member, IEEE WIE Power Subcommittee. She has served as an Editorial board member, IET Signal Processing From 2018 to date. She is the immediate past Chair, IEEE Bangladesh Section, Co-founder & Chair, IEEE EMBS, IAS, RAS, SSIT Bangladesh Chapters, & Vice-Chair, IEEE SPS Bangladesh Chapter, Founder and Advisor, WIE AG, and founder and Chair of SIGHT group FLASH, IEEE Bangladesh Section.

She is the recipient of the 2021 IEEE MGA Achievement Award, 2021 Inspiring Women in Academia Award from Bangladesh brand forum, 2019 R10 Humanitarian Activities Outstanding Volunteer Award, 2016 MGA Leadership Award 2015 WIE Inspiring Member Award, 2013 R10 WIE Professional Volunteer Award.

How IEEE Action For Industry (AFI) Engages Women in Engineering: Dr Frédérique Vallée

Frédérique Vallée is agrégée of mathematics (1978 – highest degree of teaching in France) and have obtained a PhD in statistics (1981 at UPMC one of the biggest French university). After 4 years as mathematics teacher (1978-1981) and 5 years within Thales as reliability engineer (1081 -1986), she founded in 1989 her own company MATHIX, that became ALL4TEC in 2006 and FANDCO in 2016.

Since 2006, she has been in charge of consultancy, R&D and support activities within her companies. She was the expert technical interface for its main companies’ clients. She also was in charge of numerous French or European research projects for improving the security and reliability of complex systems during their design or validation phases. She is a recognized expert in the area of complex systems safety and engineering.

She is member of French engineering societies working on these topics (AFIS – Association Française d’Ingénierie Système, IMDR – Institut de Maîtrise des Risques) and she is recognized as an expert for the European Comission. She teaches courses in numerous engineering schools and training institutes (Polytechnique, Centrale-Supelec, ENSTA, ISTIA). She has written a lot of papers and is co-author of three books.

Reflections of a Female Engineer – Focus on Work and Volunteering: Dr Maria-Alexandra Paun

Dr Maria-Alexandra Paun is currently a telecommunications engineer at the Swiss Federal Office of Communication (OFCOM), working in access to market and conformity of radio equipment, as well as being project leader in the field of drones. Dr Paun received the Engineer Diploma with honours in 2008 from Politehnica University of Bucharest, FILS, Romania, with a major in Computer Science, graduating top of her class. The master project was carried out at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL, Switzerland).

During 2008-2009, she was awarded a postgraduate Marie Curie research fellowship at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, where she worked in the field of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), developing amongst others important computer algorithms for wavefront aberration correction which were used in different tissue imaging endeavours.

Between 2009 and 2013, she was Assistant – Ph.D. student at EPFL. She received her PhD degree in June 2013 on the subject of Hall Effect sensors. During 2013-2015, Maria-Alexandra was a Visiting Researcher at University of Cambridge, UK, with two postdoctoral fellowships from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Between 2016 and 2019, she was a Scientific Researcher at EPFL Switzerland, where she was focused on the development of electronics for medical devices (MedTech).

She has worked on various CTI (currently Innosuisse Switzerland) funded research projects with industrial partners, in the fields of magnetic sensors and insulin injection pens, as well as being awarded by Hasler Foundation two own grants to work on cochlear implants. She has published more than 70 ISI-indexed scientific papers and her Hirsch (h-index) is currently 12. She is an IEEE Senior Member. She is committed to volunteering work within IEEE, as she is currently Chair in the IEEE R8 (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Women in Engineering (WIE) Committee as well as Chair of IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Affinity Group in Switzerland. She previously held many positions in IEEE Switzerland ExCom and was Chair of IEEE Switzerland Section in 2017-2021.12. She is an IEEE Senior Member. She is committed to volunteering work within IEEE, as she is currently Chair in the IEEE R8 (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Women in Engineering (WIE) Committee as well as Chair of IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Affinity Group in Switzerland. She previously held many positions in IEEE Switzerland ExCom and was Chair of IEEE Switzerland Section in 2017-2021.

5th Speaker: Dr Frédérique Robin

After studying general engineering, Dr Robin completed a thesis in mathematics applied to biology where the objective was to analyse a cell population using probabilistic (measure-valued Poisson process) and deterministic (PDE) tools.

Folowing this, she completed a year of post-doctoral work on blockchain and distributed systems after which she spent a year as a Data Scientist in Computer Vision at Fujistu Technology. She recently joined EDF R&D where she works on various topics related to AI and numerical simulation, in particular on CAD and scientific visualisation.

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