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IEEE Chicago

December 2013

December Calendar

Chair's Corner
By Ed Barrett

12/10/13 EMC Holiday Party 12/10/13 IEEE-Chicago Section Board Meeting 12/11/13 PES Improved Safety and Reliability in Low Voltage Motor Controls (IEEE P1683)

I recently attended a workshop on "Smart Sustainable Cities" (SSC) hosted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The term smart sustainable city probably gives each of us some vision of what that means but the day's activity, including presentations and breakout sessions, made it clear that the term is not well defined. We heard from non-governmental organizations (NGO), local policy makers, industry and universities who each have their own idea of a SSC and how to best achieve it.[MORE]

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AICN & Chicago/Rockford Consultant's Network Workshop


By Richard Fedrigon, Membership Chair

A full day Consultant's Network workshop was held on Saturday, October 26th in coordination with the Alliance of IEEE Consultant's Networks (AICN) and the IEEE Chicago/Rockford Consultants affinity group. The workshop was geared towards those interested in consulting, starting a business, or just maximizing career success. The Consultant's Networks have a wealth of expertise, knowledge and available support regarding developing and selling your engineering talents.[MORE]

Meet the Student Branches


By Bob Burke, Student Activities Chair

1/15/13 IAS HVAC Basics for EEs 1/27/13 Chicago/Rockford Consultant's Network TBD

IEEE-Chicago Section has almost 500 student members throughout the Chicagoland area. Student branches are the backbone of the IEEE student program, which dedicates a lot of resources to making the groups successful. Not only are the student branches a source of full time members on graduation, they are a link to academia and provide enthusiastic volunteers for IEEE programs.[MORE]

Embedded Systems for Software Professionals Embedded software is found in most electronic devices designed today. Embedded software controls our cell phones, microwaves, network routers, automobiles, and industrial controls. Each of these embedded systems is unique and highly customizable to a specific application. As a result, embedded systems development is a widely varying field that can take years to master.[MORE]

Nuclear Options Small Modular Reactors (SMR) are defined by the Interntional Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as those with an electricity output of less than 300 MWe. As part of a new generation of nuclear power plants, SMRs offer advantages over traditional large reactors. Advantages include lower initial capital investment, scalability, and site flexibility. SMRs also have the potential for enhanced safety and security.[MORE]

Variable Frequency Drives While constantly expected to do more with less, managing energy consumption and optimizing occupant comfort remains of primary importance to facility managers. Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs), also known as variable speed drives, provide significant advantages for the operation of induction motors. These advantages include reduced starting currents, adjustable speed control, and improved energy efficiency. However, VFDs create additional challenges for motor operation and protection that are not present in line-connected motors. The protection challenges are solved by new protection elements available in electronic motor protection relay.[MORE]

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Chair's Corner
By Ed Barrett

I recently attended a workshop on "Smart Sustainable Cities" (SSC) hosted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The term smart sustainable city probably gives each of us some vision of what that means but the day's activity, including presentations and breakout sessions, made it clear that the term is not well defined. We heard from non-governmental organizations (NGO), local policy makers, industry and universities who each have their own idea of a SSC and how to best achieve it.

CLASSIFIEDS

A baseline starting point for discussion is also hard to develop on this topic since no real measurement tools exist to determine if and how a city becomes "smarter" and "more sustainable". Certainly it could be different for a third world community versus an established city like Chicago. A few of the NGOs present had developed their own measurement tools or indexes that cities can use to rate their performance but each organization had a different measurement system. Locally, Argonne Labs is working on planning tools to help rationalize decision making when doing site planning. They indicated that current thinking is developers and public officials do well on sites up to 50 acres, but as the scale of the site increases it becomes more challenging.

Presentations often focused on infrastructure as the means to a SSC. We heard talks about big data, open data systems, and smart sensor networks that include smart phones. Some envisioned it as the smart grid and smart meters while others felt water and wastewater were part of the equation. Clearly all of these could and would have a role in a smart city. The role of greenhouse gases (GHG) in a smart city were also discussed. How were they measured? If you had a clean electrical rail system in your city did you need to include any GHG in your equation because of the generating plant outside your system boundaries?

International standards work is progressing in the SSC area trying to answer the above questions and to agree on terminology so a common understanding can be achieved when talking about SSC's. But even as this continues, questions for current and future engineers remain: Is the effort to create a "better quality" of life, reduce governance costs, transparent operations, or something else?

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Who will make the decisions on these issues and how can real progress be achieved when it will likely require planning on time-frames that outlast current election cycles?

Finally, what role could IEEE play in defining a Smart Sustainable City?

AICN & Chicago/Rockford Consultant's Network Workshop


By Richard Fedrigon, Membership Chair

A full day Consultant's Network workshop was held on Saturday, October 26th in coordination with the Alliance of IEEE Consultant's Networks (AICN) and the IEEE Chicago/Rockford Consultants affinity group. The workshop was geared towards those interested in consulting, starting a business, or just maximizing career success. The Consultant's Networks has a wealth of expertise, knowledge and available support regarding developing and selling your engineering talents.

At the workshop, Dr. Gary Blank, President of IEEE-USA, highlighted the benefits of belonging to the AICN in a very entertaining presentation by giving some great reasons why IEEE membership is so important for networking and employment. For example: Did you know that IEEE members live longer and drive better? Dr. Blank posed that question in jest to explain why IEEE members get such great prices on life and auto insurance as a result of belonging to our preferred risk pool. Volunteering and using the AICN consultant's database were two specific recommendations. Gary contends that the IEEE consultant's database is viewed by employers as a premium resource for finding engineering talent. Several attendees backed up this assertion from their experience. Gary provided a demonstration of the use of the AICN database with the help of Bill Grist. Joining the AICN database costs IEEE members only $99.

The workshop also covered an ambitious agenda of networking, consultant best practices, professional licensing, job hunting, and start-up company information. Bob Krause came up with three fun exercises to start the workshop that broke the ice and demonstrated some essential lessons. First, he highlighted the importance of being able to describe in 60 seconds exactly what we do in such a way that distinguishes our value to potential clients. Espcially liked was the scavenger hunt for finding personal attributes within the workshop group. This activity highlighted how problem-solving methods change as we adapt and learn to collaborate.

Another area of great interest was professional licensing. Ben Miller was the expert here as he discussed both the reasons for licensing, the environment, and process for becoming licensed. If you're interested in this topic, Ben's a great resources as Chair of the local Chicago/Rockford Consultant's Network.

Larry Nelson came from Massachusetts to give an insightful and comprehensive overview on the "Life of a Consultant." Larry shared best practices including commitment, promotion, budgeting, bidding, ethics, and legal formations such as the sole proprietorship vs. LLC dilemma. Indiana's Bill Kassebaum finished with his experience with start-up company tactics based as a co-founder of Algaeon. A group Q&A panel concluded the event.

This was a rewarding day for all who attended, with many engineers looking to transition their skills from the corporate world to consulting. If you missed the workshop, plan to attend the Chicago/Rockford Consultants group meetings at the Palatine Public Library on the 2nd Monday of the month. Also consider joining the AICN group when you renew your IEEE membership.

Meet the Student Branches


By Bob Burke, Student Activities Chair

IEEE-Chicago Section has almost 500 student members throughout the Chicagoland area. Student branches are the backbone of the IEEE student program, which dedicates a lot of resources to making the groups successful. Not only are the student branches a source of full time members on graduation, they are a link to academia and provide enthusiastic volunteers for IEEE programs.

There are several active student branches in Chicago: Illinois Institute of Technology: Mehdi Ganji - Chair Univesity of Illinois at Chicago: Piotr Nowak - Chair Northwestern University: Brittany Lee - Chair Concordia University: Ray Smith - Chair We also have two branches that are trying to reform - DeVry and ITT Tech. DePaul University is currently forming a branch with the help of faculty.

The IEEE-Chicago Student activities committee monitors and promotes student activities in the section. Branch Mentors are IEEEmembers that attendthe student meetings, and act as a liaison between the branch and the Chicago Section. They also make sure that the branches follow IEEE rules and guide the branch from year-to-year as student members and officers graduate. The SAC consists of: Robert Burke - SAC Chair, and IIT Branch Mentor Gus Vlahos - UIC Branch Mentor William Beshilas - Northwestern Branch Mentor

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Student branches meet to plan events, tours, projects, and developmental activities for students, such as career planning and job search skills. IEEEpromotes these activities, providing funding and other resources. The Chicago Section places a high priority on the student branches, and offers significant funding.

What can you do for the student sections? The Student Activities Committee is always looking for more volunteers to attend student meetings and work with them to develop activities. We need student branch mentors for DePaul, ITT, DeVry, and Concordia. You don't have to be alumni of these schools to do this. We are looking for speakers for student meetings, or offers of tours at local corporations. We are looking for sponsors for student projects, including robotics teams. We are looking for sponsors for the 2014 Xtreme Programming Challenge in Chicago. This year we had four universities compete with over 1800 teams around the world. Do you have opportunities for internships at your company? We have eager students looking for positions all year, but particularly in summer. Keep IEEE in mind when planning your staffing needs. Getting involved in student activities is a great way to mentor the next generation of engineers, as well as reinvigorate your own career outlook. For those of us who have been in the workforce for a while, it is refreshing to speak with young engineers who are facing a new future with enthusiasm and optimism.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact me at robert.burke@ieee.org and we'll find a place for you. Thanks - Robert Burke, PE

Embedded Systems for Software Professionals Embedded software is found in most electronic devices designed today. Embedded software controls our cell phones, microwaves, network routers, automobiles, and industrial controls. Each of these embedded systems is unique and highly customizable to a specific application. As a result, embedded systems development is a widely varying field that can take years to master.

Instructor Robert Oshana recently led a two day workshop hosted by the IEEE Computer Society. Mr. Oshana has over 30 years of expertise in the software industry, primarily focused on embedded and real-time systems for the defense and semiconductor industries. He has BSEE, MSEE, MSCS, and MBA degrees and is a Senior Member of IEEE. Rob is a member of several advisory boards including the Embedded Systems Group. He has over 100 presentations and publications in various technology media for signal processing. Rob is an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University where he teaches graduate software engineering courses. He is a Director of Global Software R&D for Networking and Multimedia at Freescale Semiconductor.

Mr. Oshana has over 30 publications in the areas of software process improvement, software testing, software performance engineering and real-time systems. Current titles Mr. Oshana has authored include: DSP Software Development Techniques for Embedded and Real-Time Systems Embedded Software: Know It All Real-Time Embedded Systems Software Project Management Newnes Signal Processing Ultimate CD DSP for Embedded and Real-Time Systems The two day course highlighted basic principles of writing software for embedded systems as well as approaching real-time operating systems on which much of the embedded software is based. Without providing specifics to any microprocessor or real-time operating system, Mr. Oshana shared the necessary information for understanding embedded system development cycles and the specialized aspects of developing and testing in this environment.

Mr. Oshana also shared unique design considerations when working with embedded systems. Key methods and technologies for each phase of the development process including specification, partition, design, integration, validation, and maintenance/upgrade. With a goal of attendees leaving with the ability to understand, explain, and discuss the unique challenges facing embedded software developers, Mr. Oshana provided an overview of the industry. He also shared necessary skills for transitioning one's career into embedded software development and provided an overview of employment trends in the field.

Nuclear Options Small Modular Reactors (SMR) are defined by the Interntional Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as those with an electricity output of less than 300 MWe. As part of a new generation of nuclear power plants, SMRs offer advantages over traditional large reactors. Advantages include lower initial capital investment, scalability, and site flexibility. SMRs also have the potential for enhanced safety and security.

The term 'modular' refers to the capability of SMRs to have fabricated components shipped directly to the reactor site and installed with limited preparation. Through simple design, enhanced safety, flexibility, and the economics of factory production, SMRs overcome some of the challenges large scale reactor implementations face. Marilyn Kray, Vice President, Nuclear Project Development at Exelon Generation Company, is responsible for

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business development for ExelonNuclear Partners. Ms. Kray is a subject matter expert, having worked in acquiring and integrating purchases including Three Mile Island, Clinton, and Oyster Creek. Ms. Kray spoke to the IEEEChicago Section's Power Energy Society on November 13th, highlighting the benefits and challenges of SMRs.

A Reactor Engineer and Project Manager for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC), Ms. Kray has testified in front of Congress onnumerous occasions on nuclear development in the United States. She shared that SMRs may be built independently or as modules in a larger complex, with capacity added incrementally as required. Economies of scale are provided by the numbers produced. There are also moves to develop small units for remote sites. Small units are seen as a much more manageable investment than big ones whose cost rivals the capitalization of the utilities concerned.

SMRs are ideal for smaller electrical markets, isolated areas, smaller grids, sites with limited water and acreage, or unique industrial applications. SMRs can be coupled with other energy sources, including renewable and fossil energy, to leverage resources and produce higher efficiencies. SMRs also increase grid stability and security. Advanced SMR designs can produce a higher temperature process heat for either electricity generation or industrial applications.

SMRs also provide safety and potential nonproliferation benefits to the international community. Most SMRs will be built below ground for safety and security enhancements to address vulnerabilities from both sabotage and natural phenomena. Some SMRs can be designed to operate for extended periods without refueling. These SMRs could be fabricated and fueled in a factory, sealed, and transported to sites for power generation or process heat, and then returned to the factory for defueling at the end of the life cycle. This approach could help minimize the risks associated with transportation and handling of nuclear material.

The IEEE-Chicago Section's Power Energy Society will meet again December 11th for a presentation on, "Improved Safety and Reliability in Low Voltage Motor Control Centers (IEEE P1683)". For more information click the above event link. For more reading regarding Small Modular Reactors, click the links below: http://energy.gov/ne/nuclear-reactor-technologies/small-modular-nuclear-reactors http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Power-Reactors/Small-Nuclear-Power-Reactors/ http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/advanced.html

Variable Frequency Drives While constantly expected to do more with less, managing energy consumption and optimizing occupant comfort remains of primary importance to facility managers. Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs), also known as variable speed drives, provide significant advantages for the operation of induction motors. These advantages include reduced starting currents, adjustable speed control, and improved energy efficiency. However, VFDs create additional challenges for motor operation and protection that are not present in line-connected motors. The protection challenges are solved by new protection elements available in electronic motor protection relay.

Alan Saldivar, Associate Industrial Solutions Engineer at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), presented to the IEEE-Chicago Section Chapter of the Industry Applications Society (IAS). Mr. Saldivar received his B.S. degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from California State University, Sacramento in 2011. He joined SEL in 2012. He currently works as an associate industrial solutions engineer for the oil and gas market in the industrial business development department where he markets, supports, trains, and develops industry solutions. He also supports the rotary machinery research and development team with technical training and product-related testing.

Mr. Saldivar shared that traditional motor protection elements use fundamental frequency measurements for operating current. VFD operated motors have a fundamental frequency that changes rapidly in response to adjustments in speed. Conventional single speed motor protection fans operate at a fixed cooling rate that provides insufficient cooling at reduced operating speed. Cooling elements in VFD's compensate for this reduced cooling.

VFDs are typically installed in motor control centers (MCCs). The increased risk of arc flash created with the use of MCCs can be improved through VFDoperated motors using arc flash protection elements. Often installed in large numbers at industrial facilities, centralized motor management systems alleviate the problem of manual monitoring and individual control of each motor.

The next meeting of the Industry Applications Society is scheduled for January 15th. The planned topic is; Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Basics for EE's. For more details visit the Industry Applications Society website. For further reading on VFDs, click on the links below. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp? tp=&arnumber=6336590&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D6336590 http://www.interferencetechnology.com/protection-of-variable-speed-drives-utilizing-the-cascade-protection-approach/

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