IEEE Foundation Awards US $150K, Establishes Two Funds

Preserving historical artifacts and improving technological literacy are among the projects to be funded

6 October 2009

Preserving historical artifacts, improving technological literacy through hands-on projects, and building awareness of engineering in young people are among the goals of 12 new projects receiving grants from three funds administered by the IEEE Foundation. The grants, totaling US $146 467, were awarded in June from the IEEE Foundation General Fund, the IEEE Life Member Fund, and the IEEE Humanitarian Technology Fund.

Also in June, the foundation’s board established two new funds: the IEEE Donald G. Dudley Jr. Undergraduate Fund and the G. Ray Ekenstam Memorial Scholarship Fund.

IEEE Foundation General Fund Grants:

  • $25 000 went to the Trustees of Columbia University to support the Edwin H. Armstrong Papers project, whose purpose is to make Armstrong’s research notes, articles, correspondence, and other writings accessible to the public. Armstrong, a former professor at the university, invented FM radio.
  • The IEEE History Center received a grant of $29 700 to upgrade its database for cataloging and locating archival and other historical research materials.
  • $12 075 was awarded to Ocean City High School in New Jersey to help build an observatory aimed at introducing students to a wide range of technical and scientific disciplines. Plans call for the students to conduct experiments in the observatory after taking introductory classroom lessons in engineering and science.
  • IEEE Graduate Student Member Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan is to receive up to $13 420 to support his novel screening system for development disorders, a technology he developed for early autism detection in India. It includes a series of questions that evaluate a child’s motor, social, and language skills, leading to a score that could suggest autism.
  • The Community YMCA of Middletown, N.J., received $5000 to help fund its Y Arts Technology Initiative. The program, held after school and during the summer, helps students develop practical skills in math, computers, and the technical sciences. It includes classes on robotics, video-game design, and animation.

IEEE Foundation Life Member Fund Grants:

  • The IEEE Fort Worth (Texas) Chapter received $1000 to support the IEEE Teacher In-Service Program workshop in North Texas. IEEE volunteers will be trained to share their technical expertise with preuniversity teachers and show them how to apply engineering concepts, along with hands-on projects for the students, to improve how science, math, and technology are taught.
  • IEEE Educational Activities received $15 000 to support the Student Branch Engagement Project, which is modeled after the IEEE Teacher In-Service Program training. Instead of IEEE volunteers, IEEE student members will be trained to work with preuniversity teachers and show them how to apply engineering concepts in the classroom.
  • $1000 was awarded to the IEEE Montana Section Life Member Affiliate Group to develop a project that introduces a local middle school class to nanotechnology, metric measurements, and scientific notation. The program includes lab work with a scanning electron microscope.
  • The National Electronics Museum in Linthicum, Md., was awarded $10 000 to make a 10- to 12-minute film on electronic inventions. The museum aims to build awareness of engineering among students and to encourage them to pursue technical careers.
  • The Franklin County Historical Society’s Center for Science and Industry, in Columbus, Ohio, received $15 272 to help fund the Girls Discover Engineering! program. The one-day event, to be held on 7 November, is expected to bring together girls in grades 6 through 8 with female engineers and engineering students, who plan to discuss the engineering field and their work.

IEEE Humanitarian Technology Fund Grants:

  • The Brown University Engineers Without Borders chapter, in Providence, R.I., was awarded $15 000 to help fund the Rainwater for Humanity project in Kuttanad, India. Students from the university will build rainwater storage reservoirs and catchment systems with built-in purification devices to collect rain from rooftops. As part of the project, local women will be trained to manage the reservoirs.
  • Virginia State University, in Petersburg, received $4000 to support its wireless messaging device for disaster relief. The university hopes to reduce communication failures during natural and man-made disasters.


The IEEE Donald G. Dudley Jr. Undergraduate Teaching Award Fund was set up to be administered by the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society. The fund will reward an educator at the early stage of his or her career who has made outstanding original contributions to undergraduate education in electromagnetics, including theory, analytical solutions, numerical methods, antennas, propagation, phenomena visualization, and measurements. The award honors Dudley, a professor emeritus in the department of electrical engineering at the University of Arizona. He was an eminent researcher in the mathematical foundations of electromagnetic theory, applied mathematics, integral equations, down-borehole geophysics, inverse theory, and radar target identification.

The award consists of a plaque, $1000, and a voucher for $500 to be used for professional books or other educational materials from SciTech Publishing.

The annual G. Ray Ekenstam Memorial Scholarship Fund will award $5000 to an IEEE student member pursuing an undergraduate electrical engineering degree in the field of power or a related discipline from an accredited U.S. university or college. The student must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and submit two referral letters from individuals qualified to evaluate the applicant’s academic accomplishments. The money is to be used to pay for tuition, books, and fees. Administered by the IEEE Power & Energy Society, the fund honors Ekenstam, a consultant to the U.S. petrochemical industry.

To submit a grant application or to learn more, visit the IEEE Foundation Web site.

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