IEEE Spokane Sponsors EWU Students for Rising Stars 2023 Conference

The Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineering (IEEE) Spokane chapter sent two Eastern students to the national IEEE Rising Star Conference on Jan. 3-5, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  

IEEE Spokane, which has been involved with the IEEE Student Chapter at Eastern for many years, began sponsoring students to attend the Rising Star event three years ago. 

This is the first time EWU students Nhat Nguyen and Jeremy Munsonwere were able to attend the conference in person, after two years of attending virtually. 

Nguyen, a senior electrical engineering major, is Eastern’s IEEE club president, and Munson, a junior electrical engineering major, is the club’s vice president.

During the gathering, the students attended lectures and classes that will help them further their careers and improve Eastern’s IEEE chapter. Nguyen’s favorite event was the “Integrating Self-Driving Cars” talk by Jingtao Xia, a senior vehicle integration engineer from Cruise.  

“After the talk, followed by Q & A and discussions, I’ve learned a lot more about the self-driving car and taxi industry and what they (companies like Cruise) are doing in regard to improving the technology and reaching commercialized products for different regions,” Nguyen says.  

Jingtao also shared details about what she does in her position at Cruise and highlighted valuable engineering skills that apply in the industry.

Munson enjoyed the “Hard Lessons to Learn at 125,000 Feet” presentation by Bob Martin, a senior staff engineer at Microchip Technology.  Martin talked  about engineering problems he has worked to solve over his long career involving embedded space. 

Martin helped create the Arduino platform, which is used heavily by electronics hobbyists and in electronics education, especially in high schools. 

“At EWU we use Arduino in the EENG 160 class. In the IEEE club, we used Arduino for the OPS program we ran last spring,” Muson says.

Munson appreciated the opportunity to talk to Martin and ask questions. “Bob Martin is one of those legends in the professional community that has had a pivotal part in the way these technologies have developed; an opportunity to meet him is an incredible thing.”

This has been a big year overall for the IEEE student club at Eastern. Just last semester, Eastern’s IEEE student club participated in a virtual worldwide coding competition, placing 8th in the region and within the 1000s among 6000 teams. 

Both Nguyen and Munson will present what they learned at the conference to the IEEE Spokane section, the Electrical Engineering department, and students during an upcoming meeting, from 3-5 p.m., Friday, March 3, at Flatstick Pub, 618 W. Main Ave. in Spokane. Registration, which is required, can be done online.

The two don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. Nguyen is running the IEEE open project space this quarter and Munson will conduct a circuit board workshop for students. 

Nguyen and Munson are grateful to the IEEE Spokane chapter for supporting Eastern students and encourage other engineering students to join the IEEE student club to gain additional experience and make connections. 

If you’d like to join the IEEE Student Chapter at EWU, you can find more information on the website

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