IEEE-USA president offer lectures Sept. 10 and Oct. 9.

Sep 6, 2002

The next generation of computer and electrical engineers will need to know as much about public policy and the impact of their work on people as electrons.

The next generation of computer and electrical engineers will need to know as much about public policy and the impact of their work on people as electrons.

This is just one aspect of a lecture series that LeEarl Bryant, a professional engineer from Richardson, Texas, and the first woman president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-USA), will give at Kettering University Sept. 10 and Oct. 9.

Her talks will focus on the problems faced by new engineers and how IEEE membership can prepare engineers to face these challenges. The lectures, which are free and open to the public, will take place from 12:15-1:15 p.m. in Room 1-819 of Kettering's Academic Building.

Bryant's distinguished career includes selection as a fellow of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) in 1988 and selection as an IEEE-USA Congressional Fellow in 1993, under which she served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Pete Green of FortWorth, Texas. Her responsibilities for Rep. Green focused on examination of issues in telecommunication, competitiveness, technology, health, education and aging. She is leveraging her presidency of the IEEE-USA for the benefit of all engineers and scientists, especially women and minority engineers who contribute to improving the quality of life for all people around the world.

In 1999 she received an IEEE-USA Citation of Honor for her extensive volunteer service to the Institute. Her involvement in IEEE extends back to her days as a student at Texas Tech University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering in 1966. She also earned an MSEE degree with a bio-medical option from Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1968. Additionally, she was a pioneer in the development of the SWE Texas section.

Bryant's extensive background is in the telecommunications, transportation and defense industries. Her company, Texas LAB Consultants, specializes in venture and start-up guidance, project management, strategic and business planning, and technical writing, including patent descriptions.

Bryant's host, Dr. James Gover, professor of Electrical Engineering at Kettering, retired Sandia National Laboratories engineer and former IEEE consultant to the U.S. Senate and Congress for science and technology policy, said that Bryant will provide students with a keen understanding of the issues and responsibilities engineers must shoulder during their careers.

"Young engineers must have a much broader technical and deeper non-technical skills than the previous generation," Gover explained. "For engineers to attain the status in our society that their intellectual capacity merits and society requires, they must be familiar with many issues, including contemporary problems, and be able to analyze these problems with skills they honed in the practice of engineering. They must also be outstanding communicators, committed to life-long learning, and willing to engage in the promotion of their profession and its importance to society. Early involvement in the IEEE is a critical first step for engineers of the next generation."

"One trait that the new generation of engineers has grown up with is the use of computers," Bryant said. "Young engineers take computers for granted as available tools that help facilitate work. This is one main difference from their predecessors."

IEEE-USA is an organizational unit of the IEEE created in 1973 to promote the careers and public policy interests of more than 230,000 electrical, electronics, computer and software engineers who are U.S. members of the IEEE. The IEEE is the world's largest technical professional society. For more information, visit the IEEE online at

Written by Gary Erwin
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