More than 400 people attended the convention.
By The American Bazaar Staff
WASHINGTON, DC: The American Society of Engineers of Indian (ASEI) origin concluded their 29th National Convention at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), on September 27th.
During the plenary sessions, the key note speakers presented their thoughts and ideas on how companies are gearing up with the state of the art technological advances to meet the demands of their products in the future but at the same time reducing the carbon foot print to protect the environment.
All in all, there were approximately 400 convention delegates ranging from scientists, engineers and information technologists to K-12 and college students.
Dr. Derek Dunn Rankin, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UCI welcomed the audience as the inaugural speaker and addressed them about STEM. He was followed by the first keynote speaker of the morning Patrick Lee, Sr. VP of Southern California Gas Co.
Lee expounded about the future energy needs and how SoCal Gas was leading the efforts in the use of natural gas to replace fossil fuels as an alternate for clean energy. The next keynote speaker of the morning was Dr. Murthy Simhambhatla, President of Abbott Medical Optics, a leading manufacturer of refractive lenses for people with impaired vision. Dr. Simhambhatla’s speech was inspiring as he extolled the virtues of his personal journey from a budding engineer in an aerospace company to reach the highest office of a Fortune 500 company.
In the ‘Bio-Medical Devices and Life Sciences’ technical track session, a large number of presenters were from the pharmaceutical and bio-medical fields. This was the first of its kind as these fields blend with other science and engineering fields where there is no blur in the integration of science, engineering and technology.
The ‘Disruptive Technologies’ track fielded a scintillating display of presenters in panel discussions on “Big Data” and “The Internet of Things” to a packed audience. The ‘Emerging Trends in Engineering’ track topics in the morning session were relevant to current day problems with water being a scarce commodity around the world. The various speakers presented methods to conserve, regenerate and desalinate water.
The last track ‘Growth in STEM’ was the highlight of the convention. As part of the equation, K-12 students were invited from Fullerton and Irvine School Districts by hosting workshops and carnivals. It was very gratifying to see more than 75 children participate in science experiments and building engineering models.
The featured afternoon keynote speaker was Eugene Chi, General Manager, Sales of Microsoft Corporation. Chi dazzled the audience showing the latest and future Microsoft gizmos and apps.
The second keynote speaker of the afternoon was Dr. Gregory Hyslop, Vice President and General Manager of The Boeing Company. Leading the Research and Technology division, Dr. Hyslop highlighted the innovation of the Boeing Company over the years as it approaches its anniversary in 2016. The key take away from his presentation was the talent and skill of the employees was the reason that Boeing is the leading aerospace company in the world.
The last keynote speaker of the afternoon plenary session was Vivian Shimoyama, Executive Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. She professed the growth of small businesses especially in Orange County, California and how Goldman Sachs was the enabler for these businesses. Entrepreneurs and small business owners who were in the audience were very keen and receptive and did not know of Goldman Sachs involvement in small businesses. Also during this session, scholarship awards were presented to graduate and undergraduate students. ASEI has awarded more than $150,000 in scholarship since its inception.
Subba Gopavarapu, Chairman of ASEI National, thanked the sponsors of the convention: Grand Sponsor, Prime Healthcare, Platinum Sponsors, Boeing, Microsoft and Southern California Gas Company and Silver Sponsors Abbot Medical Optics, GSR Technologies, Siemens, Goldman Sachs, and Traction Labs.
In the evening, ASEI honored and recognized the high achievers in their community. Applicants from across the US were evaluated and the winners were chosen and the following awards were given which included non-members.
- ASEI Entrepreneur of the Year – Viswa Prasad
- ASEI Exceptional Merit – Dr. Gabriel Roy
- ASEI Scientist of the Year – Dr. G. K. Suryaprakash
- ASEI Engineer of the Year – Abraham Pannikottu
- ASEI Engineer of the Year – Shailesh Naik
- ASEI Service Excellence – Dr. Raman Unnikrishnan
- ASEI Lifetime Achievement – Sharanpal Singh Sikand
- ASEI Founder’s Award – Ganapathi Sridhar
- ASEI Student of the Year – Deeksha Seth
The award committee was chaired by veteran community leader Dr. Thomas Abraham and co-chaired by ASEI VP Rakesh Patel.
The evening also contained video message from Dr. Premsagar Reddy who was unable to attend due to extenuating circumstances followed by keynote presentations from Tom Soderstrom, CTO, JPL-NASA and Ravi Mehta
Convention chairman Kupp Sridhar said in a statement: “We had to pull all the stops to make this a successful event. This event is a culmination that began planning from the start of this year of several dedicated ASEI SoCal members and volunteers coordinating various activities including organizing the tracks, arranging the logistics, publicizing the event through all media outlets including social media. I am very proud that I have a great team whom I can rely on whose efforts are rewarded by the outpouring of strength in the number of registrations. I want to thank all the sponsors, keynote speakers and presenters who have spent their time and money to share their knowledge at the convention.”
The next convention will be hosted by the Michigan chapter of ASEI in 2015.