CONCORD, N.C. (1 April 2017) — To those who have lost nearly all their belongings to a huge disaster, the ability to communicate with loved ones can mean the difference between hope and depression.

When calamity strikes, Mary Ellen Randall and her team spring into action, bringing short-term power, Internet and cell-phone charging capability to hard-hit areas. Superstorm Sandy victims she met with told her how important such services are after a disaster.

“They told us the worst part are the feelings of loneliness and isolation,” Randall said. “We use technology to alleviate that and give people hope.”

Randall founded and is the driving force behind the IEEE-USA MOVE Community Outreach Initiative. She will be honored for that tonight, as well as her long-term contributions to IEEE’s professional aims in the United States.

Randall will receive the George F. McClure Award at the Concord (N.C.) Convention Center during the IEEE-USA Awards Ceremony. A former IEEE Region 3 (southeastern United States) director, she is one of 13 honorees.

“George McClure was one of the most accomplished volunteers in IEEE history,” Randall said from SoutheastCon during a break in MOVE training. “To receive an award named after him at the Region 3 meeting in my home state is quite an honor.”

Dr. Bruce Suter is also among tonight’s honorees. He will receive the Harry Diamond Award “for contributions to the theory and practice of big data for aerospace systems.” The award honor individuals for distinguished technical contributions in the field of electrotechnology while in U.S. government service.

Suter is a principal electronics engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y. His research on the theory and practice of big data in aerospace systems is helping to close the gap between the amount of data generated and the amount that can be stored, communicated and processed. He was among the first, and in many cases the very first, to realize the importance of big data. Even before it was called by that name.

More on MOVE

The centerpiece of the MOVE initiative is the specially designed vehicle. It features a satellite system for wireless Internet access, a solar-paneled roof, 10-kilowatt generator and rechargeable batteries for energy storage. The latter enables up to 120 portable power banks to be recharged simultaneously.

MOVE volunteers were quite busy in 2016. Working in conjunction with the Red Cross, they traveled to flooding catastrophes in West Virginia and Louisiana, two areas ravaged by hurricanes and wildfires in Tennessee. They also promoted home fire safety and STEM education. The program is funded by IEEE-USA and the IEEE Foundation.

2017 Award Nominations Being Accepted

IEEE-USA Awards are presented annually to recognize professionalism, technical achievement and literary contributions to public awareness and understanding of engineering in the United States. They are administered by the organization’s Awards and Recognition Committee and approved by the IEEE-USA Board of Directors.

The deadline to nominate someone for a 2017 IEEE-USA award is 9 September.

2016 Award Winners

In addition to Suter and Randall, these individuals will be honored this evening:

Robert S. Walleigh Distinguished Contributions to Engineering Professionalism Award:

Dr. Charles Alexander (Region 2)
For leadership in professional activities, the development of professional and student programs, and the support and mentorship of IEEE-USA volunteers

Award for Distinguished Public Service:

Kevin Johnson (Region 1)
For sustained leadership in furthering reform of noncompete agreements in employment contracts

George F. McClure Citation of Honor:

Dr. Sherali Zeadally (Region 3)
For outstanding research and educational contributions to promote and strengthen cybersecurity awareness in the United States

K-12 STEM Literacy Educator-Engineer Partnership Award:

Desiree Awiszio and Olga Serebrennikov (Region 1)
For collaboration supporting the development of K-12 student math skills and its application in engineering

Jim Watson Student Professional Awareness Achievement Award:

Steve Watkins (Region 5)
For sustained contributions to the professional development of students and for outreach to precollege students

Entrepreneur Achievement Award for Leadership in Entrepreneurial Spirit:

William “whurley” Hurley (Region 5)
For furthering entrepreneurship in the United States

Regional Professional Leadership Award:

Emilio Salguiero (Region 2)
For dedicated leadership in support of professional activities in Region 2

Professional Achievement for Individuals:

Ademola Peter Adejokun (Region 5)
For contributions to IEEE professional activities and for his efforts to professionalize software engineering

Dr. Samee U. Khan (Region 4)
For outstanding leadership and service contributions to IEEE committees, conferences, workshops, and journals in the area of computer systems

Award for Distinguished Literary Contributions Furthering Public Understanding and the Advancement of the Engineering Profession:

John Toon (Region 3)
For sustained journalistic efforts to expand the public understanding and the advancement of science and technology in the United States.

IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of nearly 190,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.

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Contact: John Yaglenski
Director, IEEE-USA Communications
+1 202 530 8356