Extraordinary Women Extraordinary Science Seminar Series

Dalma Novak
Society: Entrepreneurship

Date: Friday 28 January 2022 9 am EST
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Meeting number: 2634 382 9904
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Seeing the Light: My Career Journey from Academia to Industry


This talk will tell the story of the transition of Dalma Novak’s technical career from a University Professor in Australia to working at a venture-backed start-up in the US, and eventually co-founding her own company where she develops advanced radio-over-fiber systems.   

Dalma Novak is VP of Engineering at Octane Wireless where she develops high-performance RF-over-fiber technologies for commercial and defense wireless applications.  She is also an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Melbourne, Australia.  Dalma has over 30 years of experience working in the optical and wireless communications fields and is internationally recognized for her work in microwave photonics and fiber radio technologies.  She has contributed several book chapters on the design of fiber-wireless communication systems and has more than 300 publications in these areas, including several book chapters and patents.  In 2007 Dalma was elected to the grade of IEEE Fellow for her contributions to enabling technologies for the implementation of fiber-radio systems.  In 2018 she received the IEEE Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award.


Prior to co-founding Pharad, now Octane Wireless, in 2004, Dalma spent 12 years as a Professor and Chair of Telecommunications in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Melbourne, Australia.  From June 2001 – December 2003 she was a Technical Section Lead at the venture-backed Dorsál Networks, Inc. and later at Corvis Corporation where she led cross-disciplinary R&D teams developing hardware for long-haul transmission systems.  Dalma received her Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (with First Class Honors) and Doctor of Philosophy from The University of Queensland, in 1987 and 1992, respectively.


Dalma is a member of the IEEE Board of Directors as Director of IEEE Division X for 2021– 2022 and is the 2021–2022 Chair of the IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB) Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CDI).

Bernadette Bouchon-Meunier
Society: IEEE Computational Intelligence Society

Date: 11 February 2022

Why academics and industry must work hand in hand for the benefit of humanity.

The discovery of fuzzy systems at their very beginning gave me the chance to work in an emerging field where everything was to be built. Their success has been essentially based on the cooperation between theoretical and methodological advances of academics, and the attractiveness and efficiency of industrial applications. As a senior researcher, a university teacher and the head of successive research teams or departments in the Université Paris 6-Pierre et Marie-Curie, I was able to lead research in the area of decision making and artificial intelligence. I led or participated in 20 research and development projects involving a number of academic and industrial partners. I was also the supervisor or co-supervisor of 52 PhD students, 25 of them being financially supported by an industry grant from my direct collaboration with companies. I strongly believe that academic and industrial advances foster each other. The IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, which I chaired in 2020-2021, recently created a Committee for Industrial and Governmental Activities with the goal of attracting more practitioners and companies and highlighting real-world applications of Computational Intelligence, especially those at the heart of most of the currently popular applications of Artificial Intelligence. We will give examples of real-world applications of Fuzzy Systems and, more generally, Computational Intelligence.

Bernadette Bouchon-Meunier is a director of research emeritus at the National Centre for Scientific Research and Sorbonne University, the former head of the department of Databases and Machine Learning in the LIP6 laboratory. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Uncertainty, Fuzziness and Knowledge-based Systems and the Co-executive director of the IPMU International Conference held every other year since 1986. B. Bouchon-Meunier is the (co)-author of five books and the (co)-editor of 30. She has (co)-authored more than 400 papers on the applications of fuzzy logic and machine learning techniques to decision-making and data science.

She was elected President of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society for 2020-2021. She is an IEEE Life Fellow, an IFSA Fellow and an Honorary Member of the EUSFLAT Society. She received the 2012 IEEE CIS Meritorious Service Award, the 2017 EUSFLAT Scientific Excellence Award, the 2018 IEEE CIS Fuzzy Systems Pioneer Award and the 2019 Outstanding Volunteer Award of the IEEE France Section.

Janet L. Barth
Society: Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society

Date: 25 February 2022

Janet L. Barth is retired from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). At her retirement she served as the Chief of the Electrical Engineering Division (EED) at GSFC where she was responsible for the delivery of spacecraft and instrument avionics to several of NASA’s science missions, including, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the SWIFT Burst Alert Telescope, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Global Precipitation Measurement mission, the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, and the James Webb Space Telescope. She also oversaw development of microwave and optical communications systems and suborbital avionics systems at the Wallops Flight Facility. She was a member of the team that developed NASA’s systems engineering approach to radiation hardness assurance for emerging technologies. Starting in 1999, she worked on the development of NASA’s Living With a Star (LWS) Program as a member of the science pre-formulation/proposal team and the LWS Program Science Architecture Team. In 2001 she was selected as the Project Manager for the LWS’s Space Environment Testbed and in 2002 to 2008, she was a branch manager in the EED. She currently works for Cornell Technical Services as a subject matter expert on evaluation panels for future NASA missions.


Janet is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), was the President of IEEE’s Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society (NPSS) from 2013-2014, and currently serves as the Past-chair of the Society’s Radiation Effects Steering Group. In 2014 she was presented with the IEEE/NPSS Radiation Effects Award. She is actively involved with the IEEE Nuclear and Radiation Effects Conference (NSREC) teaching the Short Course in 1997 and serving as the Guest Editor of the Transactions on Nuclear Science from 1998-2000, the Technical Program Chair in 2001, and the General Conference Chair in 2006. She is a regular participant in the European Radiation and its Effects on Components and Systems (RADECS) Conference.


Maria Sabrina Greco
Society: Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society

Date: 11 March 2022

Cognitive Radars: the Present and the Challenges for the Future


Over the past fifteen years, “cognition” has emerged as an enabling technology for incorporating learning and adaptivity on both transmit and receive to optimize or make more robust the radar performance in dynamic environments.  The term ‘cognitive radar’ was introduced for the first time in 2006, but the foundations of the cognitive systems date back several decades to research on knowledge-aided signal processing, and adaptive radar design.  The core of cognitive radar systems is the ‘perception-action cycle’, that is the feedback mechanism within the transceiver architecture that allows the radar system to learn information about a target and its environment and adapt its transmissions so as to optimize one or more missions, according to a desired goal. Such radar systems are sometimes called “fully-adaptive”, to highlight the main novelty of these new systems compared to the classical “adaptive” ones. The adaptivity is not anymore only on receive, but also on transmit. But a truly cognitive radar should not be only able to adapt on the fly its transmission waveforms and parameters, based on internal fixed rules and on what learned about the environment, but it should also be able to optimize these rules learning with time from its mistakes, as a biological system does (see for instance bath and dolphin sonar system). And this is still a big challenge for radar experts.


This talk will provide an overview of the main concept, and methods for modeling cognitive processes in a radar system. Some challenges to advancing the current state-of-the art will be discussed, and insights into future directions of research will be provided.


Maria Sabrina Greco graduated in Electronic Engineering in 1993 and received the Ph.D. degree in Telecommunication Engineering in 1998, from University of Pisa, Italy. From December 1997 to May 1998 she joined the Georgia Tech Research Institute, Atlanta, USA as a visiting research scholar where she carried on research activity in the field of radar detection in non-Gaussian background.

In 1993 she joined the Dept. of Information Engineering of the University of Pisa, where she is Full Professor since 2017. She’s IEEE fellow since Jan. 2011. She was co-recipient of the 2001 and 2012 IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society’s Barry Carlton Awards for Best Paper, co-recipient of 2019 EURASIP JASP Best Paper Award, and recipient of the 2008 Fred Nathanson Young Engineer of the Year award for contributions to signal processing, estimation, and detection theory and of IEEE AESS Board of Governors Exceptional Service Award for “Exemplary Service and Dedication and Professionalism, as EiC of the IEEE AES Magazine”. In May-June 2015 and in January-February 2018 she visited as invited Professor the Université Paris-Sud, CentraleSupélec, Paris, France.

She has been general-chair, technical program chair and organizing committee member of many international conferences over the last 10 years. She has been lead-guest editor for the special issue on “Advances in Radar Systems for Modern Civilian and Commercial Applications”, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, July/September 2019, guest editor of the special issue on “Machine Learning for Cognition in Radio Communications and Radar” of the IEEE Journal on Special Topics of Signal Processing (J-STSP), lead guest editor of the special issue on “Advanced Signal Processing for Radar Applications” of the IEEE J-STSP, guest co-editor of the special issue of J-STSP on “Adaptive Waveform Design for Agile Sensing and Communication,” and lead guest editor of the special issue of International Journal of Navigation and Observation on” Modelling and Processing of Radar Signals for Earth Observation. She’s Associate Editor of IET Proceedings – Sonar, Radar and Navigation, and IET-Signal Processing, and Editor in Chief of the Springer Journal of Advances in Signal Processing (JASP). She’s member of the IEEE AESS Board of Governors and has been member of the IEEE SPS BoG (2015-17) and Chair of the IEEE AESS Radar Panel (2015-16). She has been as well SPS Distinguished Lecturer for the years 2014-2015, AESS Distinguished Lecturer for the years 2015-2020, and AESS VP Publications (2018-2020). She’s now IEEE SPS Director-at-Large for Region 8.

Her general interests are in the areas of statistical signal processing, estimation and detection theory. In particular, her research interests include clutter models, coherent and incoherent detection in non-Gaussian clutter, CFAR techniques, radar waveform diversity and bistatic/mustistatic active and passive radars, cognitive radars. She co-authored many book chapters and about 200 journal and conference papers.

Lucia Lo Bello
Society: Industrial Electronics Society

Date: 25 March 2022

Automotive Communications: Current and Future Trends

In the past, the primary function of the car was to move people efficiently. Today, novel functions are introduced to improve the safety and comfort of the car occupants, thanks to reliable hardware components and software technologies. More and more applications are added to cars, from diagnostics to infotainment, from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) functionalities to Automated Driving. Addition of new services is now realized by software update. The car has therefore developed from a purely physical system based on mechanics to a Cyber-Physical System which embeds electronic components with processing capabilities, communication and control systems to improve performance and safety. In-vehicle networks play a crucial role in providing automotive applications with properties such as communication reliability and timeliness.


In addition to legacy protocols, such as CAN, LIN, MOST, etc., automotive Ethernet has recently become a key enabling communication technology for modern cars.

In this context, the Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) set of standards defined by the Time- Sensitive Networking task group of the IEEE 802.1 working group is a useful tool set that enables reliability, determinism and time synchronization in automotive communications over Ethernet links. TSN networks consist of IEEE 802.1Q bridges with special features, such as time-synchronization, enhanced scheduling and traffic shaping, path selection and reservation and fault-tolerance. These features make TSN networks very suitable for supporting deterministic communications in automated driving.

The talk will address the current automotive networks and will give a perspective on the future, with a focus on the Time-Sensitive Networking standards and their usage in automotive.

Lucia Lo Bello is Associate Professor at the University of Catania, Italy. She qualified as Full Professor in the Italian National Habilitation. She is the leader of the Real-time Systems and Networks research group. Prof. Lo Bello was Guest Professor at IDT- Malardalen University, Sweden in 2014, supported by the Swedish Knowledge Foundation through a funded Project. Previously, during the academic year 2000 to 2001, she was Visiting Researcher with the Department of Computer Engineering, Seoul National University, Korea.

Prof. Lo Bello has 25+ years of research experience in automotive and industrial communications, wireless sensor networks, real-time embedded systems and networks.

She published more than 170 papers in international peer-reviewed conferences, journals, books.

Prof. Lo Bello is the Responsible for the University of Catania of several European and National projects, and of research contracts with companies on real-time communications for factory automation and automotive applications. She has co-authored US Patent US2019/0199641 A1 on “Method for managing traffic in a network based upon Ethernet switches, vehicle, communication interface and corresponding computer program product”. Prof. Lo Bello is IEEE Member since 2000, Senior Member since 2009. She was the recipient of the Industrial Electronics Society 2008 Early Career Award and of the IEEE Rudolph Chope Research and Development Award in 2021.

She is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics and of the Industrial Electronics Magazine. She was the Chair of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IES) Technical Committee of Factory Automation for two terms (2014-2015, 2016-2017).

She is the current Vice-Chair of the regular SubCommittee on In-Vehicle Embedded Systems within the IES Technical Committee on Factory Automation.

Prof. Lo Bello served and continues to regularly serve as Program Chair and General Chair of IEEE conferences, such as, ETFA, WFCS, HSI, IECON, ICPS, INDIN, ISIE.

Currently, Prof. Lo Bello is the Secretary of the IES (first term 2020-21, re-elected for the 2022-2023 term) and the Women in Engineering representative of the IES. She is the founder and Chair of the “Women in IES” initiative.

Alessandra Flammini
Society: Instrumentation and Measurement Society

Date: 8 April 2022

Distributed measurements and IoT


Climate change is accelerating the paths of green and digital transition in order to create ways of life that, thanks to technology, are more sustainable. The introduction of renewables and ICT technologies is changing electrical grid in a more sustainable way, as well as ICT infrastructures can promote greener lifestyles, in accordance with the so-called Smart Living. Distributed measurements, i.e. sensor networks, is evolving in the Internet of Things, including more types of device, reducing waste, and increasing data for artificial intelligence algorithms. Starting from existing IoT systems, emerging application fields as mobility will be explored. Born about 20 years ago, the concept of Internet of Vehicles (IoV) foresees a network in which vehicles can communicate each other to manage traffic, emergencies and to limit pollution. To demonstrate the feasibility of such vision, some low cost commercial devices, suitable for current vehicles, show a time latency on the order of tens of seconds.

Alessandra Flammini graduated with honors in Physics at the University of Rome in 1985. After 10 years spent in industries in the digital electronic systems, in 1995 she joined University of Brescia, where she is a Full Professor since 2016. Her research activity mainly deals with electronic instrumentation, digital processing of sensor signals, wireless sensor networks, Real Time Ethernet, Software Defined Radio, smart grids and smart living; a particular attention is given to real time applications together with synchronization methods among nodes. General Co-Chair of several international IEEE conferences, she has been elected for a four-year term 2013-2016 in the AdCom of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society. Since 2014 she has been responsible for many Smart City projects (smart grids, water management, lifestyles, sustainable mobility). She is in charge of the eLUX interdepartmental laboratory on smart grids and smart living. Since 2019 she is the chairman of the council of the aggregate study program. Since 2020 she is Coordinator of the PhD in Technology for Health. She is the author of more than 300 international publications, including journals, patents and conference proceedings. Since 2019 she is in the Top Italian Scientists list and since 2021 is in the Guide2Research.



Holly A. H. Handley, PhD, PE
Society: IEEE Systems Council

Date: 16 September 2022

Human System Engineering: From Human Views to Human Readiness Levels


This talk discusses the role of Human System Engineering (HSE) within the System Engineering (SE) discipline. It describes two HSE initiatives that are enabling better integration of humans and systems. The Human Views comprise a system architecture viewpoint that provides a perspective on the human roles, activities and information flows required by a complex system. The Human Readiness Levels assess the degree to which human-focused requirements are incorporated into design decisions and the readiness of a system to interact with its human operator. Together these two efforts encourage SE for the total system by supporting a comprehensive integration of the human component into the systems engineering effort, which is critical to the design, development, and operation of successful systems.

Holly A. H. Handley is an Associate Professor in the Engineering Management and System Engineering Department of Old Dominion University (ODU).  Her research focuses on developing models and methodologies to better represent the human component during the architecting and design of socio-technical systems. She is the author of The Human Viewpoint for System Architectures along with over 75 publications on topics of human system engineering.  She received her PhD from George Mason University in 1999 and is a Licensed Professional Engineer. Her education includes a BS in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson College (1984), a MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley (1987) and a MBA from the University of Hawaii (1995). Prior to joining ODU, Dr. Handley worked as a Design Engineer for Raytheon Company (1984-1993) and as a Senior Engineer for Pacific Science & Engineering Group (2002-2010). Dr. Handley is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Senior Grade, the International Council on System Engineers (INCOSE) and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. She is currently the chair of the IEEE Systems Council Women in Systems Engineering Committee and was recently named an HFES Science Policy Fellow (2018) and ODU Provost Fellow (2020).