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Promoting Diversity & Inclusion in Climate Change & Sustainability

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Join this insightful webinar that aims to bring together diverse perspectives and insights from speakers who are actively involved in the field of climate and sustainability, both within and outside of the IEEE community and industry. This panel discussion aims to facilitate knowledge sharing, inspire action, and strengthen the collective efforts to promote and ensure diversity and inclusion toward addressing climate and sustainability challenges.

About our Panelists

Saifur Rahman  

Professor Saifur Rahman is currently President & CEO of IEEE. He is also the founding director of the Advanced Research Institute at Virginia Tech, USA, where he is the Joseph R. Loring Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He also directs the Center for Energy and the Global Environment at the university. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Millennium Medal winner. He was the president of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) for 2018 and 2019.

He is the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Electrification Magazine and the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy. He has published more than 160 journal papers and has made more than 500 conference and invited presentations. His h-index is 60 with over eighteen thousand citations.

In 2006, he served on the IEEE Board of Directors as the Vice President for Publication Services and Products. He is a distinguished lecturer for IEEE PES and has lectured on renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, energy internet, blockchain, and IoT sensor integration in more than 30 countries.

He is the founder of BEM Controls, LLC, a Virginia (USA)-based software company providing building energy management solutions. He served as the chair of the US National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering from 2010 to 2013. His research at Virginia Tech has been funded by Duke Energy, Tokyo Electric Power Company, the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of Defense, the US Department of Energy, and the State of Virginia. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech.

John Verboncoeur

John Verboncoeur is the 2023 VP, IEEE Technical activities Board. He received a B.S. (1986) in Engineering Science from the University of Florida, M.S. (1987) and Ph.D. (1992) in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California-Berkeley (UCB), holding the DOE Magnetic Fusion Energy Technology Fellowship. After serving as a joint postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and UCB in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), he was appointed Associate Research Engineer in UCB-EECS, and to the UCB Nuclear Engineering faculty in 2001, attaining full Professor in 2008. He served as the Chair of the Computational Engineering Science Program at UCB from 2001-2010. In 2011, he was appointed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University, and added an appointment as Professor of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering in 2015. His teaching includes electromagnetics, plasma physics, neutronics, engineering analysis, and computation. His research interests are in theoretical and computational plasma physics, with a broad range of applications spanning low temperature plasmas for lighting, thrusters and materials processing to hot plasmas for fusion, from ultra-cold plasmas to particle accelerators, from beams to pulsed power, from intense kinetic nonequilibrium plasmas to high power microwaves. He is the author/coauthor of the MSU (formerly Berkeley) suite of particle-in-cell Monte Carlo (PIC-MC) codes, including XPDP1 and XOOPIC, used by over 1000 researchers worldwide with over 350 journal publications in the last decade. He has authored/coauthored over 350 journal articles and conference papers, with over 3500 citations, and has taught 13 international workshops and mini-courses on plasma simulation. He is currently an Associate Editor for Physics of Plasmas, and has served as a guest editor and/or frequent reviewer for IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, as well as a number of other plasma and computational journals. He is Past President of the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society, and a member of the IEEE TAB Management Committee. Appointed Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering in 2014, he oversees college research activities and strategy. He has also run a number of technology startup companies, including development of one of the big three consumer credit reports, work on the hardware and software of the US Postal Service Mail Forwarding System, command and control software in the defense sector, computerized exercise equipment, and a pioneering cloud based health care management system. He is a fellow of the IEEE.

Surekha Deshmukh

Dr. Surekha Rajendra Deshmukh has over 22 plus years of professional experience. Her current role is Domain Consultant, Sustainability Practice, TCS, Pune. She did BE (Electrical Engineering-1996), M.E (Electrical Power Systems-2002) with gold medal and Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering- 2012). As a meritorious candidate, she achieved first position at post graduation along with few awards and recognition for research contributions as Best Technical Paper at IE(I), DipEx 2013, Avishkar 2011-12. Dr. Surekha is senior member of IEEE and Chair of IEEE Pune Section and Chair- PES India Chapters Council. She also serve as a Member of IEEE’s Climate Change Committee (CCIRCC) and chair of Sub Committee of CCIRCC–Global Visibility. Her areas of interest are Sustainability, Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, Electrical Safety, Electric Vehicles, Power Market, Power System Operation and Control, Reliability Analysis and Smart Grid. She is passionate about publishing work and has more than 35 papers till date on her record. With wide technical experience, she contributes as a reviewer of IEEE PES publications, Elsevier and Springer journals. Dr Surekha is awarded with “ Outstanding Volunteer Award” of IEEE India Council-2020, Women in Power Award- 2021, IEEE PES Outstanding Engineer Award 2022. Women In Engineering Recognition by IEEMA-from ELECRMAMA in Feb 2023. She has played key roles since 2000 at IEEE Pune Section, as Chair-IEEE Young Professional Affinity Group, Secretary, Treasurer –IEEE Pune Section, WIE member, Member of IEEE standards group, Member of Humanitarian Activity Committee, Member of IE(I) and Life Member of ISTE. She is also Chapter Representative of IEEE PES R 10 West and Chair- IEEE PES India Chapter Council. She was Chair of IEEE PES-IAS Chapter of Pune Section for 2019 and 2020. Both years, during her tenure as chair PES-IAS chapter won the “BEST Chapter Award” at Pune Section. Dr. Surekha remarkably contributed at global IEEE events as Resource person, Tutorial speaker, keynote speaker, Session chair, Panelist etc. at Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, Bali, Bangkok, Bangladesh, Macau, China and key cities of India.

Maike Luiken

Maike Luiken, PhD, SMIEEE, IEEE-HKN, FEIC, is 2022 IEEE Past Vice President – Member & Geographic Activities. She is serving as Chair, Planet Positive 2030 Initiative and Co-Chair, IEEE Climate Technologies Sustainability Initiative.
She served as President of IEEE Canada in 2018 – 2019. She is, and has been for more than 15 years, a very strong supporter of sustainable development. She is currently co-chairing Climate Technologies Sustainability Initiative. She is a managing director, R&D, at Carbovate Development Corp., a start-up company, and an Adjunct Research Professor at Western University, Canada. In Sarnia, Canada, she led the Bluewater Sustainability Initiative, 2006 – 2013, and was the founding Director of the Lambton Manufacturing Innovation Centre. For eight years, she served as a Dean at Lambton College with various portfolios: School of Technology, Sustainable Development, Applied Research. Her strategic leadership in the development of the applied research & innovation capacity and portfolio led to Lambton College becoming one of the top Research Colleges in Canada. Maike Luiken has more than 30 years of professional experience in teaching, applied research and educational administration, leadership and community building; especially in linking industry partners, government agencies and researchers in advanced technology initiatives. Her areas of interest and expertise span diverse technical areas from ICT, energy, and water to advanced manufacturing. She has particular interest in how progress and deployment of various technologies contributes – or not – to achieving sustainable development. She is currently serving/has been serving on numerous Boards of Directors and Committees, including IEEE, IEEE Canada, IEEE Canadian Foundation, Canadian Standards Council Steering Committee for the Canadian Data Governance Standardization Collaborative, Tech-Access Canada (founding member), Unmanned Systems Canada, Nano Ontario, Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII), Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Advanced Manufacturing Sector Advisory Board, Sarnia/Lambton Workforce Development Board, Sarnia/Lambton Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Sarnia Foundation Board. Maike Luiken obtained her Staatsexamen in Mathematics and Physics from the Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina in Braunschweig, Germany, and her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Maike has experience in the public and private sectors in Canada and has worked in the USA and Germany.

Sally Musonye

Eng. Sally Musonye, a Power Systems Design and Development Engineer at Kenya Power, orchestrates the development of efficient and reliable power systems, leveraging her expertise to drive innovation.
Sally holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Nairobi (UoN); and is a qualified and registered engineer with the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) and Corporate Member of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK).

As a senior member in IEEE, Sally serves as a committee member of the Region 8 Women in Engineering, and the Africa lead for Women in Engineering in the Africa Council.

She is the recipient of several awards such as: IEEE MGA Diversity and Inclusion Award (2022), Presidential Trailblazer award (2022) by the Government of Kenya (Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs), Philanthropy award by Africa Queen of Energy and Outstanding WIE volunteer awards.

Larissa Paredes Muse

Larissa is an architect and urban planner expert in city digitalization and smart street lighting. She works as a consultant at Quanta Technology, developing street lighting, energy efficiency, demand response, and energy equity-related projects for the power sector. She is currently the subject-matter expert in a project with over 500 thousand streetlights in North America. Her professional and academic background includes multiple experiences related to energy efficiency and environmental performance for buildings, city planning & policy design for sustainable urban development, street lighting modernization, and smart cities. With a master’s degree in Urban Engineering from the Polytechnic School of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, her research addressed the transformation of the street lighting sector in the context of Smart Cities. In Brazil, she collaborated in an inter-ministerial cooperative initiative with over 200 smart city experts, which elaborated the Brazilian Charter for Smart Cities, published in 2021. Larissa also actively participates in several international organizations, highlighting her volunteer career at IEEE, holding global leadership positions in the IEEE Power & Energy Society, IEEE Smart Cities, and IEEE Smart Lighting. She is the chair of IEEE PES Day 2023 and the past chair of the IEEE Smart Cities Marketing Committee (2020-2023) and the P2484 standard project (2021). She also served as an organizing committee member of IEEE International Smart Cities (2020-2022), IEEE PES T&D (2022), and IEEE PES Grid Edge (2023) conferences. In addition, she is a member of the Efficiency Forward/Design Lights Consortium Board of Directors (2022-present) and a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society (2021-present). She is also an international speaker, having presented in three different languages at dozens of conferences and events worldwide.

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