IEEE Foundation Awards US $211K, Establishes Three New Funds

Preserving artifacts and increasing engineering awareness are some of the goals of the projects

6 October 2010

Preserving historical artifacts, improving technological literacy through hands-on projects, and increasing young people’s awareness of engineering are among the goals of 19 projects receiving grants from the IEEE Foundation. The grants, totaling US $211 459 were awarded in June by the IEEE Foundation General Fund, the IEEE Humanitarian Technology Fund, and the IEEE Life Members Committee Fund.

Also in June, the IEEE Foundation’s board established three new funds. One is for student travel grants, the second is a best paper award, and the third involves projects that encourage women to pursue engineering careers.

From the IEEE Foundation General Fund:

  • $5 000 was awarded to the Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, in Virginia, for developing an engineering guide for the state’s bicycling advocates. The guide can help the advocates play a constructive role during the design of new bike trails.
  • The IEEE Communications Society and the Thailand chapter of the Electronics Computer Telecommunications and Information Association received $17 000 to publish illustrated books and CDs of the chronological history of telecommunications. The Thai Communications History and Milestones project is expected to include milestones of the country’s telecommunications industry as well as others set forth by the Communications Society. The CDs and books will be distributed to Thailand’s high school students to improve their technological literacy and boost their awareness of the role engineering plays in developing communications technology.
  • A grant of $20 000 went for developing the Web-based series, Ask Dr. Karen, which features IEEE Fellow Karen Panetta, an engineering professor at Tufts University, in Medford, Mass., answering questions on science, technology, engineering, and math. Panetta is founder of the university’s Nerd Girls program, in which about a dozen female engineering undergrads each year work on socially conscious projects such as environmental cleanup, green energy, and mobility for the disabled.
  • Engineers Without Borders of Princeton University received $10 000 for its Ghana school library initiative. Working in partnership with the Evangelical Presbyterian Basic School in Ashaiman, Ghana, the Princeton students plan to build and operate a digital library to improve the English and computer literacy skills of Ghana’s primary school students.
  • The University of Chile’s IEEE student branch was awarded $15 225 for its Modular Mobile Device Innovation Challenge. Undergraduate engineering students are to assist high school students with an engineering project that uses the BUG prototyping platform for developing portable wireless applications from Bug Labs, of New York City. Teams of students are expected to identify a real-life problem, brainstorm a solution, create prototypes, and implement a functioning pilot device or service using the platform.
  • $30 000 was awarded to the IEEE History Center to create a social studies Web site for its Global History Network. The site is designed to provide high school teachers with tools and resources to introduce a technology-and-society topic into their social studies courses.

From the IEEE Foundation Humanitarian Fund:

  • A $20 000 grant was awarded to the e.quinox Humanitarian Electrification Project, an initiative for bringing renewable energy to Rwanda and other developing countries. Conceived by students at Imperial College London, the project involves developing a battery that would give people access to power from the 230-volt AC source common in Africa. The battery, in turn, can be used for lighting, mobile phone recharging, radios, and other low-power devices. Energy can be harnessed from renewable sources at a central energy kiosk, where the battery can be charged.
  • The IEEE Committee on Earth Observation received $17 910 for its Earth Observation for Food Security project, which is being developed to help identify regions such as India and other developing countries where a water-harvesting system can be useful. Water harvesting involves accumulating and storing rainwater for drinking, as well as for livestock and irrigation systems.
  • The Early Warning System Overflow of Lakes in Peru project received $6000 to create a warning system built around telecommunication modules that issue alerts when water levels become dangerously high. Sponsored by San Marcos University in Lima, the project involves university students applying telecommunications and electronics.
  • Agnel Polytechnic in Verna, India, got $2500 to develop a short-term training program on cybercare and telemedicine for professionals, lecturers, and students in engineering and medical colleges. The training includes classes on the theory and practice behind Web-based health-care delivery systems and includes demonstrations.
  • The IEEE Bangalore Section was awarded $3374 for its All India Young Engineers’ Humanitarian Challenge. A mentoring program between section members and students, it teaches the students how to recognize a humanitarian issue that needs attention and to develop a solution with technology.

From the IEEE Life Members Committee Fund:

  • A $10 350 grant went to Technically Learning, a Seattle organization that helps teachers engage students in science, technology, engineering, and math by providing them with hands-on activities and resources. The money is to fund equipment, training, and curriculum development at two middle schools for Technically Learning’s robotics and engineering program.
  • A $25 000 grant went to the IEEE Region 6 STEM Education Leveraging Girls’ Passion: Fashion project in which fashion is used as a vehicle for demonstrating the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to middle school girls. The money is earmarked to develop a curriculum that demonstrates how STEM disciplines are crucial to the fashion industry.
  • The IEEE United Kingdom/Republic of Ireland Section Life Members affinity group received $10 000 for its celebration of the invention of PKS cryptography. Two IEEE Milestone plaques are being created to recognize the discovery of public key cryptography at the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), in Cheltenham, England. One will be placed at GCHQ, which is closed to the public, the other at the city’s town hall for public viewing.
  • IEEE Region 9 was awarded $3950 to help preserve for IEEE members in Latin America archival material about IEEE history in the region as well as technologies developed in the area. The money is to fund an essay contest on the history of electrotechnology and interviews with past directors and key IEEE volunteers who were instrumental in establishing IEEE sections in Latin America.
  • The Organization to Provide Equal Access to Technology, in Greensboro, N.C., received $7450 for its Enhanced Learning Technology Build-a-PC summer camp to be held next year at the city’s Weaver Educational Center. The camp is designed to introduce middle school students to computers, Web design, and the Internet. High school students are to serve as mentors and counselors.
  • A $1000 grant went to the IEEE Phoenix Section for its IEEE Teacher in Service Program/Engineers in Class (TISP/EIC) program, which provides elementary and middle school students with hands-on science projects.
  • The King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, received $6000 to help develop four workshops on careers in computer science and engineering aimed at female students. The workshops are expected to feature interactive activities and sessions in which female engineers from academia and industry discuss their jobs.
  • The IEEE Montana Section Life Members affinity group received $700 for its middle school electron microscope project. The grant is to pay for developing a class on nanotechnology and metric measurements, including lab activities. The classes are designed to expose middle school science students to a university-level lab and allow each student to analyze a project sample.

The William R. Mann Memorial Fund, established in memory of this IEEE senior member who worked for the semiconductor division of Rockwell International, will be endowed with gifts from his family, friends, colleagues, IEEE members, and industry affiliates. The fund supports two student travel grants to an IEEE conference or workshop sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society or IEEE Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology Society.

The IEEE ICRA (International Conference on Robotics and Automation) Best Paper Award in Medical Robotics Fund, established by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society with a $5000 contribution from Intuitive Surgical of Sunnyvale, Calif. Starting in 2011, and running for five years, the fund will support an annual best paper award at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. The award will recognize outstanding work in medical robotics and computer-assisted interventional devices and systems.

The IEEE WIE (Women in Engineering) Fund, established by the IEEE Foundation, is designed to support programs that increase public awareness and understanding of women in engineering; fellowships and scholarships, including ones for disadvantaged students; travel grants; and prize papers—with an emphasis on women. The IEEE Women in Engineering Committee will solicit donations from IEEE members, individuals, and companies.

To submit a grant application, to contribute to any of the more than 130 funds, or to learn more, visit the IEEE Foundation Web site.


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