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Student Organization to Host Regional Electronics Conference

Pennsylvania College of Technology and the Penn College IEEE (originally the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.) student branch are hosting the 2008 IEEE Region 2 Student Activities Conference on April 5.

The Student Activities Conference is a full-day event with 140 students participating from 18 colleges located throughout Region 2, which includes Pennsylvania; Ohio; Maryland; Delaware; Washington, D.C.; West Virginia; and parts of New Jersey, Kentucky and Indiana. Students will arrive April 4 and leave April 6. The conference is open to IEEE student branch members and their advisers throughout the region, or to any institution within the region considering an IEEE student branch.

IEEE “promotes the engineering process of creating, developing, integrating, sharing and applying knowledge about electro and information technologies and sciences for the benefit of humanity and the profession.”

It is the largest professional organization in the world, with more than 370,000 active members, including 80,000 students.

The Student Activities Conference is an annual event hosted by schools within the region, comprising nearly 70 institutions.

The day of the event will consist of morning leadership training followed by afternoon competitions, including technical paper, brownbag hardware, micromouse, ethics, the Primus project showcase and physics. Also planned for the day are a career fair, a keynote speaker and an awards ceremony.

Each school may have up to two teams per event, with the exception of the paper contest, which will not limit the number of entries. The paper competition will reward excellence in communications skills. Technical papers written by undergraduate IEEE members will be evaluated by a panel of three judges from industry. The author must also deliver a short oral presentation of his or her work, which will factor into the score.

The brownbag competition requires that a mystery circuit be designed and built to solve a problem given only a certain number of components and a given amount of time.

The micromouse competition is a challenging and popular robotics competition involving the construction of an autonomous robotic “mouse” that navigates to the center of a random maze from a specified corner in the shortest amount of time.

For the ethics competition, student branches will be presented with an ethical dilemma and will have to devise a solution. The creativity and ethical soundness of the solution will be judged by a panel.

In the project showcase, displays for student projects will be judged by their peers, and a winning project will be decided by popular vote. A mystery physics competition is also planned for the event.

The keynote speaker will be Frank Pellegrino of Primus Technologies Corp., who will talk about entrepreneurialism in electronics, creativity, and working with governments and colleges. Primus is a platinum sponsor for the conference and is featuring the project showcase. The company is a leading electronics manufacturing services provider for the military/aerospace, medical, computer/communications, automotive and industrial-controls markets.

Silver sponsors include QorTek, Automation Direct, Videon Central and the IEEE Central Pennsylvania Section.

QorTek’s mission is to enhance national defense and homeland security through advanced research and testing of innovative electronics, materials and device engineering. Automation Direct is a direct seller of automation and industrial-control products. Videon Central is a leading solutions provider working with today’s premier silicon and codec offerings for next-generation digital media needs.

For more information about Penn College, visit online, e-mail or call toll-free (800) 367-9222.

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