Inspiring the Future

2018 Donor Profiles


William Chen
Donating Makes an Indelible Mark

An IEEE member for more than two decades and President of the IEEE Electronics Packaging Society in 2008 and 2009, William Chen used his donating power to help make an indelible mark on the field of electronics packaging for women engineers.

“I’m passionate about the practice of my profession and its tremendous impact on people, technology, industry, and society across our transforming world,” William said. “As such, IEEE and the IEEE Electronics Packaging Society mean a great deal to me since they represent our profession and connect us to people and technology.”

In that spirit, William donated a cash prize he received to IEEE’s Women in Engineering (WIE) IEEE Frances B. Hugle Scholarship Fund, established in 2018. A US $2,500 annual scholarship is awarded to one female IEEE student member in honor of the memory of Frances B. Hugle, a pioneering engineer who started several companies in Silicon Valley.

According to William, “my decision to donate my IEEE Electronics Packaging Field Award money to the Francis B. Hugle Memorial Fund is based on my belief that the world needs more women engineers and scientists, particularly in the practice of electronics packaging. Hence, IEEE’s Francis B. Hugle Scholarship was the perfect place for my donation,” he said. “I view it as an investment in the future of our profession, and it’s my hope that it supports efforts to inspire women to join our field.”

William hopes that his gesture will help catalyze others. “It’s my sincere wish to see an IEEE Electronics Packaging Field Award awarded to a woman,” he said, “and that she will likewise donate her award money to this worthy fund as an investment in the future.”

Julia Conger (Benefactor)
PES Scholar and Etsey Scholar
PES Scholarships Boost Students' Belief in Themselves

Set to graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, TX, US, with an M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2019, Julia Conger’s experience in the Power & Energy Society (PES) Scholarship Plus Initiative and as an Etsey Scholar have delivered so much. “IEEE helps engineers branch out and learn about electrical engineering in a capacity outside of their immediate surroundings,” she said. “By providing engineers and researchers with a platform to share information and learn from one another, IEEE supports student members through company tours, networking events, technical presentations, online resources and a general sense of community.”

“My involvement with IEEE PES exposes me to issues in the energy field and help me understand my possible career paths and what companies are doing to lead the world to a better future.” Julia adds, “PES is an excellent addition to my formal education by giving me the chance to meet professional engineers and also form lifelong friendships with other students.”

Among Julia’s favorite experiences as an Etsey Scholar were touring S&C Electric in Chicago, IL, US and attending the IEEE PES General Meeting, where she learned about IEEE Smart Village and has since encouraged other students to become ambassadors of that IEEE initiative.

Overall, “PES Scholarships can boost students' belief in themselves, solidify their commitment to the field, provide membership and industry connections and help free students from financial concerns, which allows them to focus on their studies,” Julia said. “I wholeheartedly thank all IEEE PES Scholarship Plus and Etsey Scholar donors and hope that more students will receive such scholarships in the future. Meeting mentors and learning from other experienced students and engineers helps young engineers realize what great projects and companies are out there.”

Lawrence D’Addario
Goldsmith Legacy League Member
Leveraging Donor Advised Funds

Since joining IEEE as a student in 1988, Lawrence D’Addario continues to find great reasons to support IEEE. “I maintain my membership because besides educational, networking and development activities, belonging to a professional organization elevates the entire industry by giving us a strong voice when needed,” he said. “In addition, I’ve attended many meetings, which were always fun opportunities to meet others in my industry.”

Lawrence made his first gift to IEEE Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) in 2005 and now is a Forever Generous member of the IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League. “My HKN support helps students attend HKN Student Leadership Conferences, which help develop professional and leadership skills – valuable assets for an engineer to acquire,” he said. “The IEEE History Center’s Raising Engineering Awareness through the Conduit of History (REACH) and EPICS in IEEE programs are also great fits, and my more recent interests in sustainable living match nicely to the IEEE Smart Village program and new Empower a Billion Lives project,” he said.

For those exploring ways to donate to IEEE, Lawrence said that the Donor Advised Funds option offers many advantages. “It’s administratively easy, a better tax option for donating hard assets (like stock), allows me to donate anonymously and has positive societal impacts long into the future,” he said. Regarding his decision to include the IEEE Foundation in his estate plans this year, “the IEEE Foundation offers direct-impact programs with educational opportunities and, while these programs may evolve by the time my estate is executed, I have confidence that the organization will persist and that beneficial programs will continue,” he said.

“The IEEE Foundation serves society well and to continue those programs into the far future requires continued funding,” Lawrence said. “One easy way to do that is to include the organization in your estate plans.”

John Derrick
Perpetuating the ‘Right Stuff’

As a retired CEO of Washington, D.C. based utility Pepco Holdings, Inc, John Derrick has a deep understanding of issues like energy supply, access and environmental sustainability -- and how IEEE supports these critical areas.

John joined IEEE to support and enhance his knowledge of electrical engineering. “Early on, as a newly-minted and aspiring engineer,” he recalled, “the IEEE meetings I attended in New York, NY, US had a long-lasting impact, and I was blessed by a career which afforded the corporate opportunity to help employees participate in IEEE activities. Today, a significant portion of my philanthropy is devoted to education, especially opportunities for students and young professionals,” said John, a U.S. Navy veteran. “Our future depends upon educated, motivated and committed citizens – especially engineers and those who value engineering education and accomplishment.”

"I’ve benefitted from being an IEEE member in my professional career. Thus, in retirement, I wish to give back,” shared John, who said he had been a modest annual contributor to the IEEE Foundation Fund, Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Operating Fund and Life Members Fund until IEEE executives helped him explore timely and beneficial opportunities for greater commitment. He has since donated to the IEEE Power & Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative providing support for three PES Scholars, which further connects him to the educational and work-experience opportunities he prizes.

“Anyone who’s benefitted from an engineering education should be encouraged and challenged to do what they can to help perpetuate the profession,” he said, “and scholarships are particularly appropriate and helpful in this regard. Concluded John, “I want to convey my respect and admiration for an organization continuously focused on achieving and perpetuating the ‘right stuff’ in terms of remembering, learning and growing.”

Dennis Leitterman
MEMBER GRADE: Life Senior Member
Actively Involved to Help Achieve IEEE Goals

Dennis Leitterman’s involvement with IEEE began in 1971 during his freshman year of college and continued throughout the rest of his undergraduate years at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO, US, where he was elected IEEE Student Branch Chair, served as President of his IEEE Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Student Chapter, and was a finalist for the HKN Outstanding Senior Award.

After completing his M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Dennis enjoyed a 30-year career with Hewlett-Packard in the Silicon Valley, where he focused on the computer sector and worked in engineering management, project management, software licensing, product marketing and business development. “HP was supportive of my IEEE activities,” said Dennis, who took on many volunteer leadership roles throughout IEEE, including National Director of HKN. He now serves as Chair of the IEEE San Francisco Bay Area HKN Alumni Chapter as well as Chair of the IEEE-HKN Alumni Committee. According to Dennis, “I’ve been blessed with a wonderful career and I believe in giving my time and financial resources to help improve the electrical and computer engineering profession; my current focus includes coordinating and participating in interactive career panel presentations with Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) students.”

“IEEE’s mission, vision, core values, near-term goals and key initiatives to support those goals all personally resonate with me,” said Dennis, who’s made annual donations to the IEEE Foundation for decades. He also supports the IEEE-HKN Fund and recently began donating to the IEEE Life Members Fund. “I’m proud of IEEE and what it’s accomplished,” he concluded, “and plan to continue my support to help achieve IEEE goals.”


Asad Madni, Ph.D.
Helping to Develop the Next Generation of Engineering Leaders

“As I reflect upon my 40+ years in engineering, I cannot help but realize the important role that IEEE played in helping me achieve my career objectives -- from keeping me abreast of the technical advancements taking place in my field through its publications and conferences, providing me opportunities to interact with some of the best minds in the world and providing a tremendous sense of satisfaction in mentoring the next generation of engineers to recognizing me with its most prestigious awards,” shared Asad Madni.

Involved with IEEE since 1976, Asad appreciates the unique place IEEE holds in the engineering and electronics arena. “IEEE’s most significant contribution may be best stated by the tagline ‘Advancing Technology for Humanity,’ which not only includes achieving breakthroughs in technology but also training a whole new generation of engineers to address the challenges of the 21st century,” he said.

“IEEE, together with other leading societies, will play an important role in training engineers with the necessary skills to address the engineering challenges confronting society,” he said. “I urge all of my fellow IEEE colleagues to generously support IEEE in helping to develop the next generation of engineering leaders.”

Regarding his decision to donate to both the IEEE-HKN Student Leadership Fund and the IEEE-HKN Operating Fund, “I believe that the IEEE-HKN has a major role to play in educating the next generation of engineers and in providing them with the necessary leadership training,” Asad said. “I hope to continue supporting IEEE-HKN in this most important mission.”

John McWilliams
MEMBER GRADE: Senior Member
Connecting with Future Leaders through IEEE-HKN

John McWilliam’s active relationship with IEEE has delivered both professional and personal benefits. Working largely on international projects during the first half of his 40-year engineering career, John enjoyed exposure to a diverse range of colleagues and ideas as well as the opportunity to better understand standards and the organizations, like IEEE, working to develop them.

Now working domestically and serving as an ABET program evaluator for electrical engineering programs, “my primary involvement with IEEE is with the Engineering Accreditation Commission for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET),” said John, “but I’m also a member of several societies and IEEE Eta Kappa Nu (HKN), where I participate in two committees.”

Upon reconnecting with HKN, John learned that the Student Leadership Conference was being held at Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames, IA, US, which stirred poignant memories. “I was initiated into the Nu Chapter of HKN at ISU in 1976 and I remember that the $30 initiation fee wasn’t in my budget,” he shared. “My donation to the IEEE HKN Student Leadership Fund was my way of helping another student with a limited budget.”

According to John, “my work with IEEE-HKN and ABET keeps me connected to current and future leaders in electrical engineering. The future engineers will bring entrepreneurial talents and engineering skills to jobs that may not currently exist,” he said. “Donating is my way of giving back to a profession that’s helped me lead an interesting life and encouraging those who will follow after me.”

Concluded John, “I strongly recommend that IEEE members support IEEE and its programs as a way to support our profession’s future leaders.”

Uchenna Ndusorouwa
(Benefactor and Donor - PES Scholar and IEEE Member)
Scholarship Recipient Completes the Circle of Opportunity

An IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Scholarship Plus Initiative Scholar during his undergraduate years at The University of Texas at Austin, TX, US, Uchenna Ndusorouwa found IEEE involvement rewarding on many levels. His participation in meetings, workshops, tours and as a project manager through his student chapter “provided me opportunities to make new friends, learn more about power engineering and network with fellow aspiring engineers and experienced engineering professionals,” he said, “while the financial stipends that came along with the recognition went a long way towards alleviating the financial burden of college education.”

Since joining Oncor Electric Delivery in 2015, “my participation in IEEE PES events continues to provide me opportunities to learn more about developments and challenges in power engineering as well as to network with people from different industries and institutions with a vested interest in power engineering,” Uchenna shared.

As a result of his positive experience, Uchenna has proudly donated to IEEE’s PES Scholarship Plus Initiative Fund to help complete the circle of opportunity for others. “I support IEEE PES’s mission of promoting power engineering and assisting students interested in pursuing careers in power and energy engineering,” said Uchenna, who noted that the program is unique because of the financial assistance, resources and exposure provided to students.

“Contributions to the IEEE Foundation help the IEEE community continue its mission of global education and technological advancement that benefits humanity,” Uchenna confirmed. “Through the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus program, aspiring engineers can achieve their goals and I thank all who have supported and contributed to the cause as well as those who will support it in the future.”

Armand Neukermans, Ph.D.
Appreciating IEEE Smart Village’s Enlightened Approach

A veteran researcher, industry executive, author and inventor, the now-retired Armand Neukermans has dedicated himself to supporting various environmental projects and social causes, which led his path to cross with IEEE.

“I became involved in a number of philanthropic efforts and met Professor Tom Kailath, who introduced me to other IEEE contacts,” Armand shared. In light of a community solar purchasing project Armand drove years earlier and the global network of solar social entrepreneurs he’d developed, “the IEEE Smart Village initiative immediately resonated with me,” he said. “Given IEEE’s worldwide strength and professional status, it seemed that this effort could scale very readily and make significant contributions.” Recently, Armand also helped connect the engineering department at Santa Clara University, CA, US with Smart Village. “I was aware of the university’s engineering outreach efforts and decided that this might be a perfect fit for the IEEE program,” he said. This proved true, and the two institutions partnered quickly.

“This kind of program benefits both the recipients of the technology as well as the students,” Armand confirmed. “They have an opportunity to work on meaningful projects at an early stage in their career, which often has a very profound and beneficial effect on the careers they choose.”

In addition to helping to ‘broker’ this mutually beneficial partnership, Armand has proudly donated to IEEE’s Smart Village Fund. “Given the crucial problems now facing humanity, I very much applaud and support IEEE’s efforts to reach out beyond its traditional professional endeavors and support the social well-being and advancement of the world community through its powerful channels,” Armand said. “The IEEE Smart Village program is a sterling example of this enlightened approach.”


A. Michael Noll, Ph.D.
MEMBER GRADE: Senior Life Member
History Center Support Reciprocated

An IEEE student member since 1959 and current IEEE Senior Life Member, A. Michael Noll has had a long history with IEEE, beginning in the early 1960s. In addition to publishing papers in such journals as IEEE Communication and Electronics, IEEE Spectrum and IEEE Student Journal, IEEE Eta Kappa Nu awarded him Honorable Mention as an Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer in 1970.

After serving on the staff of the Science Advisor to the President in the 1970s and then as a marketing executive at AT&T and Professor of Communication/Dean at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, California, US, A. Michael’s path connected back to IEEE in the early 2000s as he worked to archive the papers of Dr. William O. Baker, past president of Bell Labs and an influential advisor on scientific matters to five U.S. presidents. Dr. Baker introduced him to Dr. Michael Geselowitz, senior director of the IEEE History Center, initiating both a strong professional and trusted relationship that resulted in A. Michael writing a number of articles that were posted on the History Center’s Wiki site.

“I’ve been impressed with and appreciative of the educational and professional work the IEEE History Center performs in terms of documenting, preserving and presenting the history of both electrical engineering and IEEE,” shared A. Michael, who added that the History Center and its staff were extremely helpful to him in his research. “As a result,” he confirmed, “I’ve been pleased to contribute to the IEEE Foundation to support the History Center.”

Saurabh Sinha
MEMBER GRADE: Senior Member
IEEE Changed My World

A student member since the 1990s and Professor of Engineering and Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalization at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, “I acquired experience within IEEE in a multi-faceted and fascinating way through geographical and educational activities,” Saurabh Sinha said.

“As an IEEE volunteer,” he recalls, “I thought I would learn a little and change the world, but IEEE changed my world in the process. Today, I have a professional network of friends and global leaders in academia, government and industry in 60 countries and the strength of this network has become significant in my technical work,” said Saurabh, who’s since helped recruit more than 1,000 IEEE volunteers.

Saurabh proudly donates to IEEE’s Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), an initiative he helped found, for many reasons. “EPICS has the potential to change the world by uniting university and high school students, volunteers and non-governmental organizations in a vertically-integrated model of education for society, using technology to collaboratively solve local community challenges,” he said. “New generations of volunteers have evolved EPICS in IEEE beyond what we even conceptualized and this was only possible thanks to the IEEE Foundation’s support and promotion of EPICS in IEEE.”

Through the more than 150 EPICS programs underway globally, Saurabh said, “we’re bringing access, digital inclusivity, environmental renewal and education and have seen the lives of needy people change in both big and little ways,” he said. “If one looks for a program enabling sustainable development, EPICS in IEEE is an important enabler that makes engineering relevant – particularly for those wishing to realize their vision for humanity through engineering and service.”


James Smith
Planning to Support Other Promising Students

A 2018 graduate of Auburn University, Auburn, GA, US with an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and a current member of Georgia Institute of Technology’s Machine Learning Ph.D. program, James Smith has derived so much from his involvement with IEEE.

According to James, who served as President of his school’s Xi Chapter of IEEE Eta Kappa Nu (HKN), his designation as an Outstanding Student Award Winner, Xi Chapter “speaks to the strength of Auburn University and the Xi Chapter. Along with opportunities provided by my school, our careers benefit from opportunities provided by IEEE, the guidance of IEEE mentors, and the support and participation of other IEEE members,” he said.

“While my education has provided me with the background to drive innovative research, membership in IEEE has helped develop my skills as a leader and communicator,” said James, who hopes to pursue a career in academia. “I believe that the skills developed through IEEE-HKN and IEEE have contributed to my success just as much as, if not more than, the theoretical background learned in classes.”

James couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities IEEE has provided and hopes to pass it on. “As a recently-graduated engineer, I’ve observed that young professionals have a strong tendency to imitate,” he said. “In addition to the greatly-appreciated financial relief I received from the IEEE Foundation, this award has placed in me a desire to help other students when I become financially stable enough to contribute. I hope that award winners will continue to ‘pay it forward’ and grow the support for other promising students,” he confirmed. “I certainly plan to!”


Jaclyn Spear
Goldsmith Legacy League Member
IEEE Remembered in Her Estate Plans

Jaclyn Spear has long witnessed and benefitted from IEEE’s strength and network in the STEM fields, particularly in her role as an IEEE Congressional Fellow in 1997.

According to Jaclyn, the role “increased my awareness and knowledge of public policy and legislative processes and helped me learn how things work (or not, in some cases) in Congress, which was very useful while working on a construction project for a government contractor.” Among her fondest memories of the experience was “being part of the House International Relations Committee team involved in efforts to open the way for the sale of U.S. nuclear technology to China” – an agreement which personally resonated for Jaclyn given her previous job with Westinghouse’s Nuclear Services Division.

Jaclyn’s experience as an IEEE Congressional Fellow impacted her in such a positive way, both personally and professionally, that she decided to include the IEEE Government Fellows in her estate plan, which qualifies her as “Forever Generous” in the IEEE Foundation donor recognition group, the IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League. “The IEEE Government Fellows Program gave me a unique opportunity at a time in my life when I was looking to expand my horizons and it left a profound impression on me,” she explained. “I’d like to see the program continue to provide this opportunity to others, and funding is a major aspect of the health of the program.”

Overall, she concluded, “by including the IEEE Foundation in their estate plans, people will ensure that programs that have made a significant impact on their lives will have the resources to continue providing benefits to other members.”

Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch
Corporate Donor
Helping to Improve Their Community through IEEE

As a leading, century-old engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company specializing in conventional, renewable, and distributed power generation, transmission and distribution, microgrids, and behind the meter services, Black & Veatch understands the value of contributing to IEEE. “Whether it’s through standards, technical committees, publications, conferences or the IEEE Foundation, Black & Veatch’s contributions ensure that the industry is ready for both today and tomorrow,” shared Dave Abrams, Executive Vice President, Power Delivery at Black & Veatch, which has made recent donations to the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Scholarship Plus Initiative.

According to Abrams, the PES Scholarship’s focus on stewardship, innovation, technical advancements and education align well with Black & Veatch’s founding principles and core values. “The IEEE PES Scholarship builds on our philosophy that the best results come from combining our time, talent and monetary contributions to supporting sustainability and the environment and to making a difference in the communities where we work and live,” he said.

“Our efforts in supporting IEEE are focused on helping PES to fulfill its mission and deliver on the important fields of interest that guide the organization,” said Abrams of IEEE activities involving everything from talent development, solutions that help guide the industry through rapid transformation and education that helps industry professionals grow personally and professionally.

“It’s important to give back and to leave the industry in a better place than when we joined it,” concluded Abrams of the importance Black & Veatch places on supporting IEEE. “We’re confident that both today’s leaders and tomorrow’s bright young minds will build on the solid foundation that IEEE has created to ensure that we’re prepared to meet the continually-changing demands in the power industry.”


Dorsey & Whitney Foundation Supports IEEE Scholarships
The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation, created in 1982 by Dorsey partners, supports charitable causes in the communities where Dorsey & Whitney LLP attorneys and their families live and work. It is a tax-exempt organization funded primarily by the partners of Dorsey & Whitney, a global law firm more than a century-old, focused on the core values of ‘clients, community and colleagues.’ The organizations that The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation support reflect the talents and diversity of interests of Dorsey attorneys as well as the depth of their commitment to the well-being and cultural vitality of their communities.

“One of Dorsey’s core values is to serve disadvantaged communities through pro bono legal work,” explained Steven Khadavi, Partner/New York Office Head. “Similarly, The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation places particular emphasis on providing aid to organizations that provide legal and other services to the disadvantaged. The IEEE Foundation’s mission of improving access to technology, enhancing technological literacy and supporting education resonates strongly with Dorsey attorneys and makes the IEEE Foundation an ideal recipient of funding from The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation,” he said of grants that The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation has made to the IEEE Foundation each year since 2003. These grants have provided general operating support to the IEEE Foundation, with a special grant in 2012 to support the IEEE Power & Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative.

“By making grants to the IEEE Foundation for 15 straight years, we’ve supported its efforts to improve access to technology throughout the world,” concluded Khadavi of his organization’s commitment to IEEE’s mission. “It’s the hope of The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation that in the coming years the IEEE Foundation will reach many more underserved people throughout the world.”

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