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July 31 - August 1, 2020
hosted by Northern Illinois University
Naperville, IL, USA


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All Workshops

Seminar - The Federal Govt's Cybersecurity Hiring Process
Friday, July 31
10:15 - 12:15 PM 
The Federal Government, like most government, has established Information Assurance/Cybersecurity personnel requirements for working with or having a full time, contractor or liaison position with a branch of the US Government in an Information Assurance/Cybersecurity role. Dr. Anderson will discuss the current DoD Directives that provide the basis for the enterprise-wide solution to train, certify, and manage the DoD Information Assurance (IA) workforce.These directives apply to the all U.S.A. Govt. departments as well as, contracts for personnel providing IA functional services for U.S.A. DoD information systems (IS) via appropriate Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) clauses.
This session will be presented by Dr. David Anderson
Dr. David Anderson
Retired U.S. Army officer

Dr. Anderson is a retired U.S. Army officer, current educator and practitioner in Information Technology with a focus on cyber security. He has published both books and papers on the topic.

He is currently full time faculty in the Computer Information Systems (CIS) Dept. at Triton College.

In the military, he was an IT Information Assurance officer, and earned the US Army's Airborne and Ranger skill identifiers and the Bronze Star Medal. Post military, he has earned the Microsoft, Cisco and CompTIA technical certifications.

He has degrees in Information Technology through the doctorate level and is a member of the FBI Infragard Association - Chicago.


Project Management Workshop
Friday, July 31
1:45 - 3:45 PM 
Workshop Overview
The Project Management workshop/webinar is intended for engineers, technical leads, project leaders, and functional managers who want to practice the fundamentals of project management to help themselves and their groups accomplish their endeavors, whether at work, at home, or in the community. Participants will learn basic project management techniques, and most importantly, how to apply them in real life without excessive paperwork or overhead! The workshop will include templates and checklists to take away, and examples of how to apply project management techniques to engineering and personal projects.

Workshop Content

  • Definition of a Project
  • Typical phases of a project
Starting and Planning a Project
  • Defining the project scope and requirements
  • Project risks
  • Scheduling and estimating
  • Creating milestones
  • Refining the Plans
Managing the Project
  • How do we use planning deliverables to tell if we are on track?
  • How do we use meetings and status to measure progress?
  • How are design reviews and testing critical to gauging project progress?
  • Risk Management
Running Meetings
  • Planning Meetings
  • Attitude: pre-selling, pre-coaching
  • Meeting Roles and Responsibilities
  • Design/Document Reviews
Closing the Project
  • Ensure adequate hand-offs to all groups
  • Conduct a lessons-learned meeting
This session will be presented by Tarek Lahdhiri, PhD, PE, PMP, BB-DFSS, SM-IEEE
Tarek Lahdhiri, PhD, PE, PMP, BB-DFSS, SM-IEEE
Strategy Leader
General Motors LLC in Warren, Michigan
Dr. Lahdhiri received the degree of MS-EE in Communication Systems in 1990 and the PhD degree in Control Systems in 1995. Dr. Lahdhiri is currently working for General Motors LLC in Warren, Michigan, where he is holding the position of Strategy Leader for Real-Time Control Systems Simulations and Automation within the Global Validation Department.
Dr. Lahdhiri is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the State of Michigan, licensed Project Management Professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI), and Master Black Belt DFSS certified by General Motors LLC.
Dr. Lahdhiri authored and co-authored over 16 journal papers and 35 conference papers and his areas of interest include Control Systems, Systems Engineering, Real-Time Modeling and Simulation, and Engineering Management. Dr. Lahdhiri is a Senior IEEE member and has been leading several activities within the IEEE organization. Currently, he is the IEEE Region 4 (Central USA) PACE Chair, member of the IEEE-USA Career Professional Development (CPD). Recently, Dr.Lahdhiri held the position of IEEE-USA Vice President of Career Member Services (2018-2019)
Dr. Lahdhiri is the recipient of the 2001 IEEE-USA Professional Achievement Award, the 2004 IEEE-USA Professional Leadership Award, and the 2007 IEEE-USA Citation of Honor Award, and the 2012 IEEE Region 4 Jack Sherman Award.


Strategic Approach for AI/ML Innovation
Friday, July 31
5:15 - 7:15 PM 
This paper presents a strategic look at how world's leading companies as well as startups are putting AI to work to create value and disrupt industry.
It takes a practical view from practitioner's viewpoint and reviews a diverse set of real life scenarios to identify key elements necessary for the success of AI strategy. Further, it analyzes leading market trends, common pitfalls and the lessons learned. Success stories are discussed from several industries including Consumer & Industrial Products, and Financial Services.
Technology platform provided by AWS, and AWS AI and Machine Learning services are utilized to demonstrate how quickly it is possible to integrate them with enterprise applications to address common use cases such as modernizing contact centers, improving customer engagement etc.
In the end, this paper provides high level recommendations on how a company can implement an AI strategy that will create value for its stakeholders. It is expected that the paper will support practitioners in realizing full value from their AI and ML investments quickly.
This session will be presented by Dr. Vivek Varma
Dr. Vivek Varma
Dr. Vivek Varma is a program management and information technology professional offering over 20 years of demonstrated career success in delivering technology-enabled business transformations to Fortune clients, and federal and state governments. He possesses extensive consulting and industry experience in the delivery of digital solutions, intelligent automation, and program management for Consumer and Industrial Products, Financial Services and Power and Utilities industries. He currently focuses on client service delivery for The Nielsen Company.
He is a Senior IEEE member and has presented his work at several international conferences. He is recognized for taking on major initiatives, adapting to rapidly changing environments and resolving mission critical issues to ensure bottom line success. He has built and worked with world-class inter-disciplinary teams across US, India, Australia and Japan. He serves on the Boards of several volunteer organizations. He holds BS and MS degrees in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, and PhD from The University of Melbourne in building Decision Support System for Sustainable Development.


Engineering Ethics
Saturday, August 1
10:15 - 12:15 PM 
Engineers design and develop products and projects that serve the needs of society at large. In today’s technology driven economies, their profession has far reaching impact on people’s lives and the environment. The globalization of markets means that the engineering profession’s impact is far reaching. Practically every product and every complex system designed and produced today, to address society’s needs, also has harmful side effects on humans and the environment. Though “Engineering Codes of Ethics” have been in place for all fields of engineering for decades, the professional engineer now faces a variety of pressures, e.g. internal and external political forces, economic drivers, etc. to compromise them. Therefore, engineers shoulder a major responsibility, as they carry on their duties, to uphold highest standards of ethical integrity combined with "Social Responsibility".
Starting with a look at the ranking of all professionals according to the latest Gallup Poll, and examples from personal experiences, the seminar presents the following topics.
  • Review of Present Codes of Ethics for Engineers
  • Three Gifts and Working for a living Vs. Service to the society
  • Economic Dominance- People, Planet and Profits
  • Mission Statements of Organizations and Individuals
  • Social Responsibility – Ethical constraints on design optimization
  • Diamond is Forever – So is an engineer
The seminar concludes with some reflections on the current state of ethics and social responsibility in the business world today, and Ralph Emerson’s definition of "Success".
This session will be presented by Dr. Mohammed Safiuddin
Dr. Mohammed Safiuddin
Research Professor Emeritus
Electrical Engineering Department
University at Buffalo
Dr. Mohammed Safiuddin is Research Professor Emeritus in the Electrical Engineering Department at University at Buffalo, and President of STS International, Plainfield, IL, USA. He started as Junior Engineer, Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board (India) in 1958. Joined Systems Control Department, Westinghouse Electric, Buffalo, New York in June 1960 as Associate Engineer. Progressed through the ranks of Engineer, Senior Engineer, Fellow Engineer positions to Manager, Product/Strategic Planning (1982), Power Electronics and Drive Systems Division; Technical Advisor, Marketing Department (1984). He was parttime instructor in the early sixties, Adjunct Associate Professor ('77- '91), Research Professor ('91- '10), at the University at Buffalo, USA. His areas of technical interests cover industrial control systems, renewable energy, Smart Grid power systems, and Technology Management. Has been awarded 10 patents in this field and has dozens of published papers and conference presentations. He is Life Fellow of the IEEE, was awarded Roscoe Allen Gold Medal (1957) by Osmania University, was recipient of "IUSD Award of Merit" (1992) by the IEEE-Industry Applications Society for contributions to industrial control technologies, and service to the IAS, was recognized for meritorious achievement in continuing education by the IEEE-EAB award for the year 2000. He is a member of the Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics), Beta Gamma Sigma (Business) and an "Eminent Engineer" member of Tau Beta Pi. He was recognized with International Business and Academic Excellence 2019 "Distinguished Educator Award" in 2019 by GISR Foundation and American College in Dubai. University at Buffalo honored him with the "2020 Engineer of the Year" award.