IEEE Canada Newsletter / Nouvelles de IEEE Canada
Issue: November 2003

News of Interest
Why Projects slip, Part2
Senior Member Upgrade
Upcoming Events

   Upcoming Events - Montreal
   Upcoming Events - Toronto
   Upcoming Events - Vancouver
   Upcoming Events - Rest of Canada
   Upcoming Events - US
   Upcoming Events - International

IEEE Commercial Releases
Submission Information

News of Interest

IEEE Canada Standards Committee co-hosts Canadian delegation to 2003 IEC Annual General Meeting

The IEEE Canada Standards Committee and the Canadian Electricity Association jointly hosted the Canadian delegates to the IEC Annual General Meeting at a delegate reception held in Montreal on 16 October 2003.

ICSC members in attendance hosting the Canadian delegates were Doug Topping (ICSC Chair and President EPCOR Generation Inc. in Edmonton, Alberta), Wally Read and Helen Sam. The ICSC members were supported by IEEE SA staff members Sue Vogel, Terry deCourcelle and Linda Gargiulo. Portions of Doug Topping's welcoming address follows:

"The IEEE Canada Standards Committee is confident that this reception is the beginning of more joint initiatives with our Canadian Standards organizations going forward as we move to strengthen our relationships and interactions. Our committee works closely with the IEEE Standards Association to identify Canadian standardization needs that can be met by working with our IEEE membership in Canada. There are approximately l4,000 of IEEE members in Canada and about 600 of these are also members of The IEEE Standards Association. One example of our committee's work was the IEC fast track adoption of IEEE 1249, The Guide for Computer-Based Control for Hydroelectric Power Plant Automation - accomplished through The Canadian National Committee. Having this IEEE document adopted by IEC gave it the broad recognition needed for use in Canada. This IEEE 1249 work by our committee has demonstrated to us the significance of IEEE's dual logo initiative.

We ask that you, the Canadian Standards industry representatives, support IEEE's dual logo initiative with other standards organizations that will limit the duplication of effort and bring more commonality to standards on a global basis.

I'd like to introduce the members of The IEEE Canada Standards Committee that are here tonight so you recognize them:

  • Wally Read - Wally, a Maritimer, is also Chair of The Standards Council of Canada Advisory Committee on Standards
  • Helen Sam - Helen is our member on the Committee from the Canadian Electricity Association

Other members of the committee not here this evening are:

  • Jim Gurney from B.C.
  • Dave Kemp, from Manitoba, and
  • Philip Choy from Alberta.

So you can see that our committee membership spans the country.

Finally, I would like to extend a special thank you to the Canadian delegates for your work in standards development. I know it can be a thankless job but I also believe it to be the most important foundation upon which our society functions and grows. Please maintain your involvement and dedication to the development, implementation and enforcement of standards."

If you would like more information on the IEEE Canada Standards Committee and its activities, please e-mail:

Dr. Read addresses Winnipeg Life Members - time to give back

"Give Back Time"; that was the title and theme of an address by Dr. Wallace S,. Read, IEEE Past President, to a 20 October 2003 meeting of the joint chapter of the IEEE Winnipeg Section Life Members and Canadian Society for Senior Engineers (CSSE). Wally pointed out several ways senior engineers can contribute their wisdom and experience to other members and professional associations such as IEEE:

  • proactively engaging in the elevation of members to Senior Member Grade
  • contributing to history centers
  • nominating outstanding engineering achievements to the status of IEEE Milestone

Wally highlighted several examples of Canadian IEEE Milestones including:

  • The Alouette - ISIS Satellite Program
  • Landing of the Transatlantic Cable at Heart's Content, Newfoundland
  • The First Transatlantic Radio Transmission from Signal Hill, Newfoundland.

He encouraged visiting the IEEE Virtual Museum at

IEEE/IES Electrical Power Symposium 2003

Last year on 1 November,  the Ottawa IEEE PES Chapter, the IEEE Reliability Society Chapter, and IEEE Ottawa organized the Deregulation Symposiums and Tutorial. Though deregulation is in limbo, the Ontario Electricity Industry is still under immense challenges.

So, this year on 14 November 2003, the Ottawa IEEE (PES and RS) and IEEE Ottawa are holding their third Electrical Power Symposium 2003 (EPS2003) at Ben Franklin Place, Centrepointe, Ottawa, Ontario. This year's theme is "Supply and Demand Challenges" and how that played in the recent "Blackout". This is an opportunity to listen to and discuss with industry leaders on the issues and solutions concerning electricity supply and demand. Included in the symposium is a special session on the 14th August 2003 blackout.

The symposium covers the history and future direction of electric delivery systems in North America; environmental drivers, Ontario supply and demand balance and the operation of the newly created market; the 14th August 2003 blackout and the restoration; demand management and demand reduction; distributed generation; energy efficiency; and domestic electrical energy systems.

The Symposium will be held on Friday, 14th November, 2003. For full details and registration please visit

Contact persons:
Wahab Almuhtadi (
EPS2003, CoChair
Chair, Ottawa IEEE PES Chapter

Raed Abdullah (
EPS2003, CoChair
Chair, Ottawa IEEE RS Chapter

2004 IEEE membership renewal open for business

IEEE membership renewal notices were mailed to all active IEEE members at the end of September. In addition to the vast array of existing benefits and services, IEEE members may chose to add the new IEEE Product Safety Society or one of five new journals to their memberships for 2004. For a complete list of IEEE membership benefits and services, visit

Renew online prior to 14 November for the chance to win a Dell notebook computer

2004 Member-get-a-member (MGM) and Student-get-a-student (SGS) Campaign

Do you have a good IEEE experience to share with a colleague? Why not tell your peers about some of the benefits that you have experienced as an IEEE member? You can help make your colleagues more informed about IEEE, and at the same time earn yourself an incentive for successfully recruiting them.

IEEE conducts the MGM and SGS campaigns annually to encourage members to actively recruit their colleagues or fellow students to become IEEE members. The program makes sense, since who is better equipped to extol the benefits of membership than our existing members? This year's program will run from 2 September 2003 through 15 August 2004. In return for their efforts, a small financial "thank you" will be awarded to all recruiters that can be used as a credit towards IEEE or Society membership dues, or towards the purchase of IEEE services and products.

For rules of the programs and recruiting tips, visit or contact Felicia Taylor.

IEEE Authors win Nobel Prize in Medicine for MRI development

American Paul C. Lauterbur and Briton Sir Peter Mansfield won the 2003 Nobel Prize for medicine this month for their discoveries on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Lauterbur, an IEEE author and past IEEE Medal of Honor winner, discovered the possibility of creating two-dimensional pictures by producing variations in a magnetic field - the basis for the now-routine medical diagnosis tool. Mansfield, an IEEE author, developed the process by which signals the body emits in response to the magnetic field are analyzed. Lauterbur is at the Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Laboratory at the University of Illinois in Urbana; Mansfield is at the University of Nottingham in Britain. For more information on the 2003 Nobel Prize for medicine and its winners, visit

IEEE Xplore adds new way to access IEEE Spectrum

For the first time ever in IEEE Xplore, full-text HTML is now available to subscribers for select issues of IEEE Spectrum magazine. All issues ranging from January 2002 through June 2003 now offer the option of accessing both the PDF and HTML full-text versions of all articles. This enhancement allows for easier navigation within documents, including links to figures, charts and references. Although IEEE Xplore does not offer full-text searching from the search screens, users can use browser tools to search within full-text HTML documents. In the near future, IEEE will also present full-text HTML for select issues of the Proceedings of the IEEE, but there are no immediate plans to expand full-text HTML beyond these two publications. To see the benefits of HTML access, subscribers may visit IEEE Xplore at

Why Projects Slip: Part 2, Miss-Executing!

(by Bill Franklin & Doug Copeland, Precision Planning Group)

In part 1 of “Why Projects Slip”, we observed the stakes are high in not achieving project goals. Companies undertaking expensive initiatives to deliver new products only to have them fail due to being excessively late, of poor quality, or significantly over budget can suffer irreparable financial harm. Fortunately, as at the project launch, the astute project manager and senior management can observe telltale signals and take action to mitigate more serious problems. Here, as the project moves into the execution phase of design and development, are our top reasons for project slippage:

  1. Poor Communication:
    Project communication involves who needs what information, when do they need it, and who must supply the information. One of the most effective ways of establishing good communication early in the project is with the use of a kick off meeting. The kickoff meeting provides a means to accomplish a number of vital tasks, but perhaps the most important is that it provides a way for all the team members to meet each other. This establishes working relationships, responsibilities, accountabilities, and the lines of formal project communication.

    As the project progresses, open and honest communication between the project management and software, hardware and systems engineers is critical. This accurate assessment of progress and accommodation into the schedule allows for early contingency action. Communication must occur daily or weekly, and when teams are geographically dispersed, requires onsite meetings on a regular basis to ascertain true status.

    In short, accurate, clear, frequent formal and informal communication is essential to keep projects on track.

  2. Lack of Action Plans and Action Owners:
    Large projects slip one day at a time. The cumulative delay quickly grows into months unless prompt action is taken. The best method to avoid inaction and the resulting delays is to assign action items, with resolution dates, to individuals. As a simple example, consider the project status meeting. Ten people will have attended the meeting, and the ten people leaving the meeting will have ten differing interpretations of that meeting. That’s why meeting minutes are so important.

    Meeting minutes should provide a record of status presented, any action items that were assigned, the person responsible for resolution of the action item and the date that the resolution needs to be completed. These action lists should be communicated and tracked weekly.

  3. Ignoring Reality:
    Significant issues do arise and can profoundly affect the budget, schedule or even feasibility of the project itself. Burying one’s head in the sand and pretending everything is okay is a big mistake. As the project proceeds and the problem festers it gets increasingly expensive to resolve the problem. For example, re-architecting the software system may require extensive rework of implemented software. By running the problem up the flagpole early, work can be done to resolve the problem or at least accommodate adaptation, avoiding false starts, rework and retesting.

    Beware the seductive reasoning of “we’ll make up time later”. In our experience, this almost never works. For example, if your schedule is slipping 25% per week in the early design stages, you can look forward to at least this slip cumulating to the end of the project. It’s better to stand back and ask: “why are we slipping” then reset your judgments. As pointed out in Part 1 of “Why Projects Slip”, better estimation and feasibility analysis, and good requirements analysis will go a long way to reducing risk of significant slippage.

  4. Scope Creep:
    Scope creep results from slowly adding more work over the live of the project. A clear scope statement at the beginning of the project will help, but changes are unavoidable. Projects are first estimated, delivery dates are committed, and expectations are created with the initial set of requirements. Significant changes in requirements changes everything - the budget, quality control, work effort, capital costs, and delivery timeframe. Some studies have shown average scope creep of 1 to 2% of the original specifications for each month before delivery. And of course nobody remembers the changes, but everybody remembers the original dates.

    Scope creep is a fact of life, but the project manager must control it. Here are some methods to deal with it:

    • Have a change control program that includes the impacted stakeholders
    • Measure the change in terms of priority, effort, capital and schedule cost
    • Get buy in from major stakeholders. That is that (i.e. signed off change request)

  5. Inadequate Testing:
    Time pressures can lead pushing the project forward with inadequate testing. But a rule of thumb is each defect left in the project grows in cost by a factor of 10 as the project moves from phase to phase.

    Consider a requirements specification that is defective. This defective requirement is designed, coded, integrated and tested then suddenly flagged as a defect. It is easy to see the cumulative effort caused by a simple defect at the beginning of the project.

    Quality needs to be designed in from the beginning:

    • Create a quality culture: “measure twice, cut once”
    • Review requirements, designs, code for defects
    • Adequately staff and design test scenarios, software and test jigs
    • Use adequate subsystem testing to reduce the time for integration
    • Track defects, assign priority and owners

  6. Misunderstood or Misrepresented Subcontractor and Subsystems:
    Building large systems requires many subcontractors and subsystems. Unfortunately many of these groups misrepresent their capability and once integration begins, deficiencies arise!

    These issues can be mitigated by working with reputable vendors and technology, performing prototypes and piloting small-scale versions of the system envisioned, and requiring strict performance contracts. Get your subcontractors involved in the requirements analysis. Get the unknown out of the project, and your risk factors begin to shrink.

  7. Inadequate and Poorly Trained Staff:
    Some organizations ask their project managers to estimate the project size, then arbitrarily remove some of their resources. You can achieve better results by:
    • Staffing the project as originally planned
    • Assigning you team leads with little or no hands on work. Don’t worry they will pick up the balls falling off the table soon enough!
    • Get the best people for your project. Team leads are especially important, as they have a big say in the technical direction, and will be required to pick up those dropping balls
    • Empower, motivate and trust the team
    • Set goals that are realistic, yet challenge the team
    • Manage your staff, listen to their needs and concerns, watch for red flags

Projects don’t have to late, over budget or suffer from poor quality. Recognize the symptoms of project that are in trouble, understand the root causes that are causing issues, and take appropriate action. With practice and experience, you can consistently deliver projects on time, within budget, and with the features your clients and customers want.

In part 3 of “Why Projects Slip” we’ll give a list of red flags to watch for. Ignore these at your peril!


Michael Z. Tarnawecky, Professor Emeritus University of Manitoba Beloved husband of Dr. Iraida Tarnawecky passed away on Saturday, October 11, 2003.

Professor Tarnawecky taught at the Univ of Manitoba, Dept of EE, Fort Garry Campus. Professor Tarnawecky retired in December 1991 and was named Professor Emeritus in January 1993.

Professor Tarnawecky joined IEEE March 1966 and held the grade of Member. He was elevated to Senior Member grade in January 1976. Professor Tarnawecky held the office of Section Secretary (Northern Canada Section) from June 1977 - July l978; Vice Chair (Northern Canada Section) July 1978 - June l979; and Section Chair (Winnipeg Section) June 1979 - September 1980.

(Source: The Winnipeg Free Press, 15 October 2003 & research by Dave J. Kemp, SMIEEE, FEIC)

Senior Member Upgrades

The following members were upgraded to Senior Member status at the September  2003 Admission and Advancement Panel meetings in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

  • Navid R. Zargari - Kitchener-Waterloo
  • Jian-Jun He - Ottawa
  • Ramiro Liscano - Ottawa
  • Brahim Chaib-draa - Quebec
  • Noorali H. Amarsi - Toronto

For more information on the Nominate a Senior Member Initiative (NSI) Program, please visit The 2003 Goal for IEEE Canada is to elevate 150 members to Senior Members.

Upcoming Events


  • Nanotechnology: Quantum Engineering for the Optical Internet

4 November 2003
Concordia U. - Room H961-14
Montréal, Québec
Please RSVP to Reza Soleymani at (514) 848-2424 ext. 4103 or via e-mail
For more information, please visit

  • Application of MEMS Technology to RF/Microwave Systems

21 November 2003
Centre PolyGRAMES Room R206
3333 Queen-Mary
Montréal, Québec
Please RSVP to Prof. Ke Wu at (514) 340-4711 x5991 or
An IEEE Montréal Microwave Theory and Techniques Society presentation

  • Microplasma Arrays in Semiconductors, Ceramic and Polymer/Metal Multilayer Structures: Photonic Devices for Emission and Detection

25 November 2003
CRIM Montréal,
Montréal, Québec
Please RSVP to Peter Noutsios at (514) 818-1010 x47625 or at
For more information, please visit
An IEEE Montréal Laser & Electro-Optics Society Joint event with Microwave Theory and Techniques, Antennas and Propagation chapters

  • Northeast Workshop on Circuits and Systems (NEWCAS 2004)

20-23 June, 2004
Montréal, Québec
For more information, please visit


  • Cooperative Communication in Wireless Networks

4 November 2003
Bahen Centre for Information Technology, Room BA 1180
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario
For more information, please visit
An IEEE Toronto Communications Chapter presentation

  • Scalable Video Transmission over DS-CDMA Wireless Systems

6 November 2003
Bahen Centre for Information Technology, Room BA 1130
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario
For more information, please visit
An IEEE Toronto Signals and Applications Chapter & Communications Chapter presentation

  • Engineering with Lasers

7 November 2003
Bahen Building, Room 2130
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario
For more information, please visit
An IEEE Toronto Circuits and Devices chapter presentation

  • Forensic Recovery of Digital Evidence

12 November 2003
Bahen Centre for Information Technology, Room BA 4287
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario
For more information, please visit

  • Public Key Infrastructure: The Long, Meandering Adoption Curve

13 November 2003
Ryerson University, Room QS369
Toronto, Ontario
For more information, please visit
An IEEE Toronto Computer Chapter presentation

  • Mental Health in the High-Tech Workplace

20 November 2003
Ryerson University, Room BUS 104
Toronto, Ontario
For more information, please visit


  • IEEE Vancouver Section Annual Social Event - Dine & Dance with a Live Band at Baci Risorante

6 November 2003
Baci Ristorante,
3728 E. Hastings,
Burnaby, BC
For more information please visit

  • Westcoast Security Forum

17 November 2003
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Vancouver, BC
For more information please visit
An IEEE Vancouver Communications Chapter presentation

  • Classification Capabilities of Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar

18 November 2003
MacDonald Dettwiler,
13800 Commerce Parkway
Richmond, BC
For more information please visit
An IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society presentation

  • The Remote Minehunting System Technology Demonstrator (RMS TD)

4 December 2003
MacDonald Dettwiler,
13800 Commerce Parkway
Richmond, BC
For more information please visit
An IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems, Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society presentation

  • IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS 2004)

23-26 May 2004
Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel
Vancouver, BC
For more information please visit

Rest of Canada

  • IEEE Ottawa Section 59th Annual General Meeting

4 November 2003
The Salon, Museum of Nature,
240 McLeod,
Ottawa, Ontario
Please register by 24 October 2003 with Ammar Gharbi at
For more information please visit

  • An Overview of Agilent Technologies and Agilent Laboratories AND Applications of Photonics to Communications, Interconnects & Sensors

5 November 2003
University of Waterloo,
Waterloo, Ontario
For more information, please visit

  • System Support for Application Adaptation

6 November 2003
University of Waterloo,
Waterloo, Ontario
For more information, please visit

  • Newfoundland Electrical and Computer Engineering Conference

12 November 2003
St. John's, Newfoundland
For more information, please visit

  • IEEE NB Biennial General Meeting

12 November 2003
Victoria Room, 2nd Floor
Sheraton Fredericton Hotel
225 Woodstock Road
Fredericton, New Brunswick
For more information, please visit or contact Brent Peterson at

  • Canadian Conference of Electrical and Computer Engineering

2-5 May 2004
Sheraton Fallsview
Niagara Falls, Ontario
For more information please visit

  • Communication Networks and Services Research (CNSR 2004)

19-21 May 2004
Fredericton, New Brunswick
For more information, please visit


  • IEEE International Engineering Management Conference (IEMC -2003)

2-4 November 2003
Albany, New York
For more information please visit

  • IEEE International Conference on Computer Aided Design (ICCAD)

9-13 November 2003
San Jose, California
For more information please visit

  • Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM)

1-5 December 2003
San Francisco, California
For more information please visit

  • Workshop on Multimodal User Authentication (MMUA 2003)

11-12 December 2003
Santa Barbara, California
For more information please visit

  • Consumer Communications and Networking Conference (CCNC)

5-8 January 2004
Las Vegas, Nevada
For more information please visit

  • International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC)

14-19 February 2004
San Francisco
For more information please visit


  • IEEE International Conference on Power Electronics and Drive Systems (PEDS 2003)

17-20 November 2003
For more information please visit

  • IEEE International Symposium on Signal Processing and Information Technology

14-17 December 2003
Darmstadt, Germany
For more information, please visit

  • International Conference on Information Technology & Applications (ICITA 2004)

8-11 January 2004
Harbin, China
For more information please visit

  • Managing Next Generation Convergence Networks and Services

19-23 April 2004
Seoul, Korea
For more information please visit

  • European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO-2004)

7-10 September 2004
Vienna, Austria
For more information please visit

IEEE Montreal maintains a page of upcoming events at

IEEE Ottawa maintains a page of upcoming events at

IEEE Toronto maintains a page of upcoming events at

IEEE Vancouver maintains a page of upcoming events at

For more IEEE conferences, visit IEEE Conference Search at

IEEE Commercial Releases

IEEE Press publishes first comphrehensive history of the Information Age

A new book from Wiley-IEEE Press, "The Worldwide History of Telecommunications" by Anon A. Huurdeman, is the first comprehensive history of the Information Age, covering how we got here and where we are going. Huurdeman's book covers telecommunications from a global perspective, presenting telecommunications as a uniquely human achievement, dependent on the contributions of many ingenious inventors, discoverers, physicists, and engineers over a period spanning more than two centuries. For more information, or to purchase, visit

New book offers designers insight into Verilog

A new book published by Wiley-IEEE Press, "Design Through Verilog HDL" by T.R. Padmanabhan and B. Bala Tripura Sundari, offers designers new to the language an opportunity to become familiar with the language construction and real-life practical applications. Verilog is a hardware description language (HDL) that makes it possible to build hardware utilizing very sizable and complex digital circuits. Find out more about this tile at

Electric power systems book now available through Wiley-IEEE

The new book "Understanding Electric Power Systems: An Overview of the Technology and the Marketplace," former power company managers Jack Casazza and Frank Delea provide insight to electric power systems, how they operate, the organizational structure, as well as the regulation and pricing of electricity. Additional topics covered are electric system control, power system reliability, government regulation, and financial considerations. Key terms and definitions used worldwide are included in the glossary to provide a full understanding of this technology. For more information, or to purchase, please visit

IEEE Press authors cover challenges of managing IP Networks

Editors Salah Aidarous and Thomas Plevyak present IP network management insight in their new book, "Managing IP Networks: Challenges and Opportunities." The book addresses critical challenges affecting the growth of IP networks, with contributions from some of the top experts in the field. For more information, or to order, visit

Submission Information

You can send any submissions by email to the editor:
Abhi Gupta at

Please ensure you send in your submission by the 20th of the month

IEEE Canada Newsletter - November 2003 Nouvelles de IEEE Canada - Novembre 2003

Last update - 2003.12.10 - la dernière mise à jour