Webinar: What Does it Take to be an IEEE USA Government Fellow?

Presenter: Kyle Bunch and Yan Zheng
Date Recorded: 9 November 2017

  View Recorded Webinar


Each year, IEEE-USA sponsors four government fellowships in which the recipients get to spend a year in Washington, DC serving as advisers either to the U.S. Congress or to key U.S. Department of State decision-makers. To help give IEEE members insight into what happens during these year-long fellowships, 2016-2017 Executive Fellow Kyle Bunch and 2016-2017 Congressional Fellow Yan Zheng will discuss the process and benefits of applying and being selected for these fellowships. They will also share some of their unique experiences during their assignments.

About the Presenters

Yan Zheng, Ph.D., is an Associate with the technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton where he specializes in semiconductor-based microelectronics and optoelectronics. He is currently leading an initiative for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to boost U.S. electronics innovation in an increasingly globalized world. Dr. Zheng has also served as a technology advisor to multiple program managers at DARPA where he helped develop their vision and goals across a diverse set of technology areas including thermal management, high-energy lasers, microelectronics, and photonics. In this role he tracked emerging technologies and created technology policy recommendations for his clients as well as translated future DOD requirements into technology policy objectives and developed tangible metrics for the scientific community through written publications and presentations at conferences and workshops.

From 2016-2017, Dr. Zheng served as an IEEE congressional fellow in the office of Senator Chris Coons where he focused on developing policy to boost R&D, support domestic manufacturing, and spur innovation and economic growth. Several of these policy recommendations resulted in bipartisan bills that were introduced in the Senate. Dr. Zheng also served as the lead coordinator for the Senate Competitiveness Caucus where he organized multiple events on Capitol Hill relating to technology innovation and economic competitiveness. Through this work Dr. Zheng has collaborated closely with leaders in federal agencies, congressional committees, advocacy groups, think tanks, and other stakeholders.

Kyle J. Bunch, Ph.D., P.E., is a Senior Lead Engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton serving as a technical expert at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He has over 25 years of experience targeting national security technology needs. During 2012-2014, he has served as a Senior Science Advisor to the U.S. Department of State in the areas of Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Counterterrorism under the auspices of the IEEE-USA Engineering and Diplomacy fellowship. His work experience spans a wide range of science and engineering development within industry, academics, national laboratories, and startup companies. Before coming to Washington, DC, he worked within the Department of Energy’s laboratory complex within the nuclear weapons complex at Sandia National Laboratories and the National Security Directorate of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. His primary focus has been to develop technology policy and related research to target pressing problems in national security.

In 2014 Dr. Bunch was nominated by the State Department to serve as science representative on a White House OSTP subcommittee on Science and Technology for Countering Explosive Devices, where he advised on emerging technology to counter explosive threats in response to terrorist actions. He has also served on several subcommittees under the Joint Program Office for Countering Improvised Explosive Devices (JPO-CIED), a intergovernmental agency charged with countering the terrorist use of explosives against U.S. interests worldwide. Dr. Bunch is a Registered Professional Engineer currently holding the degrees of PhD, DEE, and ME all in electrical engineering from the University of Utah along with a BS in computer science and electrical engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He currently serves as the Chair for the IEEE-USA Engineering and Diplomacy Selection Committee, a member of the ad-Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence, and past Utah Section Chair of the IEEE.