Letters to the Editor: June 2009

Feedback from our readers

8 June 2009

Support the Women

I resent the letter written by Thomas Cuthbert that degraded attractive female engineers [Letters to the Editor, March]. His comments are the views of a sexist. The photo on The Institute’s cover includes my daughter, a fine, intelligent, sophisticated, ambitious, young woman who has inspired many other young women to enter the electrical engineering field. I am extremely proud of her. Only a sexist would try to take away a woman’s dream of accomplishment.

The fine women on the cover worked as a team to build a solar car, reaching all their goals, including attracting more women into engineering and dispelling the stereotypical stigma of a female engineer being ugly or an egghead.

They brought a renewable energy project to Thatcher Island, which is off the coast of Rockport, Mass., and home to the last operating twin lighthouses in the United States. Their solar power system is lasting and reliable, and now the island’s sole source of electricity.

Why does he feel disgust for women engineers eager to do what once only men were capable of doing? We need to commend and praise the younger generation to stimulate future generations, not to insult and try to bring them down. Read the daily newspaper and watch TV to see what is truly disgusting.

Rita B. Panetta
Winthrop, Mass.


Change the Name

Regarding IEEE President John Vig’s column, What’s in a Name? [March, p. 10], I say that we might have to bite the bullet and change our name because, yes, we are more than just engineers. I want our members to be known as innovative in a wide array of fields, engineers and nonengineers working for the betterment of the world.

We are an “Institute of Engineers and Technology Innovators” (IETI) or an “Institute of Technology Innovators and Engineers” (ITIE). We should keep “engineers” in our title. It brings value to the colleges and institutions that train us. I am proud to say I’m an engineer, although the general public still wonders what engineers do.

Victor Alas Jr.
Maitland, Fla.



The President’s Column was excellent and captures what I have felt for many years. Although I have spent more than 30 years working and teaching in the electronics industry and hold several U.S. patents in antennas and control systems, my undergraduate and graduate degrees are not in electrical engineering. I have been an IEEE member for many years, but I rarely feel at home at an IEEE conference, especially when the discussion involves, “Where did you get your degree?”

Recently I presented a paper at the North Central Rural Electric Cooperative Engineering Conference on AM directional antennas and external re-radiation sources. It was very well received even though most of the attendees were EEs. I am hopeful President Vig’s thoughtful column will help facilitate the inclusion of other professionals into IEEE, of which I am glad to be a member.

Gary L. Ellingson
Fargo, N.D.


I Triple E

Shortly after I read the President’s Column, the branch counselor of National Islamic University, in New Delhi, the membership team of the student branch, and I held a recruiting session for new IEEE student members. We recruited more than 120 members.

During the session I showed slides sent to me by President Vig about IEEE’s history to educate the students about our organization’s legacy. Many students were studying computer science and civil and mechanical engineering. They asked me why IEEE had only electrical and electronics engineers, so I explained what the name IEEE means. I told them many of the same things President Vig wrote in his column, and they said they would be very happy to see IEEE stay “I triple E.” I hope President Vig ensures the name stays as it is.

Mini S. Thomas
New Delhi


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