Preparing to Kickoff IMS2014

So I know a couple in San Antonio. I know what you’re thinking – I’ve heard all those Texas jokes already. But I really do know a couple in San Antonio. Shortly after meeting this couple the three of us discovered that we were all electrical engineers and so we immediately began to analyze (as good engineers will do) how our various paths in engineering were interconnected. Not only did we have difficulty finding connections, but it also took us quite some time to really understand our various responsibilities and sectors (relational software, aerospace parts tolerance assurance, and RF/microwave design and test). The most interesting of these sectors, I’m sure you’ll agree, is the rapidly expanding RF and microwave sector.

So as we prepare to kickoff IMS 2014, I think it’s great that we’ll be including a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) program for students beginning to think through college choices. My son (who is a high school junior) and I recently attended the complete engineering tour at the University of Texas as Austin (boy, she sure does mention Texas a lot, I wonder where she’s from?) While there was a great deal of time spent breaking down the various disciplines within engineering, it was very difficult to understand the focus of any particular area such as electrical engineering. IMS 2014 is a great showcase of the work being done by electrical and computer engineers to expand digital communications, improve wireless component design and test, and expand the capabilities of software design to support this growing complexity. While it is a small snapshot of an enormous discipline, I think it is a great opportunity for students to see the output of the industry. This program will include approximately 50 students ranging from high school age to freshman in college and will provide a “day at a conference” experience in addition to two days of optional activities. The goal of the program is to provide students with technical speakers, hands-on activities, and informational tables as well as an exhibition tour. I know my son is looking forward to attending the STEM program to have a chance to meet with the IEEE engineering students to better understand their experiences and long term plans.

So we’ll look forward to great questions from the students and volunteers as they explore the many areas of this year’s show. And remember, there is no need to ask someone if they are from Texas. Cause if they are they’ll get around to telling you - and if they’re not, well, there’s no need to embarrass them! See you at the show-

Phyllis Cosentino
Within technical marketing at National Instruments, Phyllis Cosentino focuses on the communication and support of new capabilities for RF, Wireless, Microwave, and Communication products. Prior to joining NI, Phyllis held senior leadership roles within Dell’s Communication Solutions Group, Alcatel-Lucent’s Wireless Division and AT&T Bell Labs RF Services and Wireless Development where she made significant contributions to the development and deployment of CDMA and GSM systems globally. Phyllis holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, completed the Program for Executives at Carnegie Mellon University, and holds several patents in wireless technology.

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