Chair’s Message, January 2020

A happy and healthy New Year to you and your families. Let’s hope 2020 is a successful and auspicious new year for the IEEE and its members. Heartfelt thanks to all who volunteered their time to organize and promote Section activities in 2019. From popular social networking events to successful conferences and symposia, volunteers gave of their time and effort to guarantee attendance and relevance. I would like to single out Lou D’Onofrio for his tireless work as the outgoing Section Chair. His leadership and concern for the well being of the section were self-evident and I will lean on him to provide a smooth transition into the coming year. James Colotti as well gave of himself to organize the social networking events which were “member only benefits.” The 2020 Officers for the Long Island Section are:

  • Section Chair: Arnold Stillman
  • Treasurer: Santo Mazzola
  • Vice Chair: Ronald Pirich
  • Secretary: Rhonda Green

Since I am not known to a lot of the membership, a brief bio is in order. Although my degree from the University of Rochester is in Physics, my only ever job designation and role was as an engineer. Most of that was spent at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where I designed instrumentation for the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron in the Accelerator Division and then high speed trigger electronics in the Physics Department. Subsequent to BNL, I worked at Tactronics as a Senior Engineer and Clever Devices as a Senior Researcher. I am currently the founder and CEO of a startup, POEM Technology, which manufactures oil and propane tank monitors as part of an Internet of Things effort.

It is probably as exciting as ever to be an engineer. New fields of interest are moving from academic theories into real applications. Among them, artificial intelligence, cryptography, blockchain algorithms, electronic health records and medicine are only a few topics firing the imaginations of young engineers. Along with these new developments come the associated problems as well as the pre-existing problems of our time. Climate change, privacy, facial recognition and surveillance methods bring with them a need for solutions which will require technical backgrounds. The IEEE and the Section in particular must be committed to developing and nurturing the interests of the latest generation of engineers who will implement these solutions.

Unfortunately, membership is declining and this decline is the major challenge facing the section, if not the IEEE in general. The IEEE provides member value in the form of technical seminars, publications, conferences and even insurance, but perhaps a new focus is necessary. I do not have answers, but I am committed to exploring new ways to engage. Please feel free to suggest methods that excite minds. We will, as usual, host the 2020 Awards Banquet at the Crest Hollow Country Club on March 25. Although that is a highlight of the year, there are a couple of other noteworthy events:

  1. On April 4th NYIT hosts the Women in Engineering and Technology Day. President-elect of the IEEE, Susan K Land, will speak.
  2. There will be an IEEE Milestone commemorative ceremony in cooperation with the Rocky Point Historical Society honoring the historical importance of the RCA Radio Central facility, inaugurated Nov. 5, 1921. The date will be announced.

I look forward to a year of new developments and methods of engagement. Please stay involved and support the section in its mission. We look forward to your participation.


Arnold Stillman
IEEE Long Island Section 2020 Chair