The overall governance of IEEE-HKN is the responsibility of the Board of Governors, a volunteer organization of IEEE-HKN members that have prominent positions in academia and industry. The Board consists of a president, president-elect, past president, and treasurer, each of whom serves a one-year term. Regional Governors serve the IEEE-HKN’s geographic regions (now aligned with the IEEE Regions), and four at-large members each serve one three-year term. There is a pair of student governors who serve  one-year terms.

2020 IEEE-HKN Board of Governors

2020 President

Edward A Rezek

Edward A. Rezek received a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and an AB degree in Physics from Washington University in St. Louis, MO in 1976; he received MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL in 1977 and 1980. He retired from Northrop Grumman Space Technology (formerly TRW Space & Electronics Group), an entity specializing in electronics development for US Government and commercial applications after 35 years. His work experience has ranged from basic R&D to manufacturing and has covered the spectrum from advanced technology development for US Government space applications to manufacturing low cost components for commercial applications. He has received 19 patents and has >50 publications in refereed journals. He is a recipient of the TRW Chairman’s Award for Innovation and a Northrop Grumman Distinguished Innovator Award. He is an IEEE Fellow for qualification of GaAs microelectronics for space applications.

President Elect

Ron Jensen

I was inducted into HKN shortly before graduation and didn’t have much involvement in the chapter. But, there was something about being selected for induction that stuck with me. Many years later I was asked if I could help HKN by becoming Treasurer and I couldn’t say no, I wanted to give back to this organization. We have had the opportunity to make progress financially in supporting the mission of HKN. I’ve now had the opportunity to attend 3 Student Leadership Conferences and I’ve been very impressed with the students who have attended and the program that they developed. Absolutely makes me want to continue working and supporting HKN.

Past President

Karen Panetta

Dr. Karen Panetta is a Fellow of the IEEE. Dr. Panetta received the B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. She is currently the Dean for Graduate Education and a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Adjunct Professor in Computer Science at Tufts University. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the award winning IEEE Women in Engineering Magazine and Editor of the IEEE Boston “Reflector” Newspaper. She served as the 2011 Chair of the IEEE Boston Section, which resulted in the Boston Section receiving the 2011 IEEE Large Section Award. During 2009-2007. Karen served as the Chair for the IEEE Women in Engineering, overseeing the world’s largest professional organization supporting women in engineering and science. Karen also served as the Chair of the Boston IEEE Education Society chapter for ten years and is currently the Boston Chapter Chair for the IEEE Signal Processing Society. She served as the 2013-2014 IEEE-USA Vice-President of Communications and Public Relations. She has served as the IEEE Tufts Student Chapter adviser for 24 years and is the Society of Women Engineers Tufts Student Chapter Adviser. Karen is currently on the HKN Board of Governors and a Member-at-Large on the Systems, Man and Cybernetics Board.

Karen has traveled around the globe to inspire youth to pursue engineering through her internationally acclaimed “Nerd Girls” Program, a program that shows how engineers and scientists are creating innovations for the benefit humanity.

Before joining the faculty at Tufts University, Karen was a Principal Engineer for Digital Equipment Corporation.

Karen’s research has spanned many disciplines including developing simulator algorithms for large digital computing systems to her current research in image and signal processing algorithms for security and biomedical applications.

She is the recipient of numerous awards. In 2011, U.S. President Obama presented Karen with the NSF Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. In 2013, she was awarded the E-Week New England Leadership award and the IEEE Award for Ethical Practices. She is also the recipient of the ASEE Harriet Rigas Award, and Anita Borg institute, Women of Vision Award.

Governor, Regions 1-2

Jason Hui

Dr. Jason K. Hui is a Senior Staff Program Engineering Manager at Elbit Systems of America.  He has been in the aerospace and defense industry for over 17 years with primary interests in systems engineering and technology and engineering management.  He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering, and the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering, all from UCLA.  He also received the M.S. degree in Systems Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University.  Dr. Hui previously worked at BAE Systems, Draper, and The Aerospace Corporation.  He is an IEEE Senior Member, AIAA Associate Fellow, and a certified Project Management Professional.  He has received several awards over the course of his professional career including the IEEE New Hampshire Section’s Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year Award in 2010, the AIAA Sustained Service Award in 2013, and the PMI New Hampshire Chapter Individual of the Year Award in 2016.

Governor Regions 3-4

Michael Benson

Michael Benson is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan’s Radiation Laboratory and has served on the HKN Board of Governors as the student governor for both 2017 and 2018. A 2009 recipient of NASA’s Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship, Michael studies multi-modal remote sensing of the environment with a focus on radar. During his tenure at Michigan, Michael has been actively engaged in his community having chaired his Department’s inaugural graduate research poster symposium in 2009 as well as serving three elected terms as the President of the University of Michigan’s graduate student body. During his tenure as student body president, Michael spearheaded numerous policy initiatives resulting in real and meaningful changes for current and future graduate students. A 2015 recipient of the University’s Richard and Eleanor Towner Prize for Outstanding Graduate Student Instructors, Michael has been recognized for his commitment to learning and student success and has taught the introductory programming course for students entering the College of Engineering for 2.5 years; the last year as the course’s head GSI. Michael graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern University in Boston, MA in Electrical Engineering and hails from Weston, MA. Since initiating into Eta Kappa Nu, Michael has held a variety of leadership positions within the Beta-Epsilon chapter including serving as a mentor for potential new members (electees), serving in numerous committee chair positions, and serving as an officer of the chapter as an advisor for the past three years. In addition to his work within his chapter, Michael also served as the general co-chair of the IEEE-HKN 2016 Student Leadership Conference in Ann Arbor, MI. During his tenure on the Board, Michael has aggressively represented the interests of the society’s student members. He has initiated and lead monthly gatherings for chapter leaders to share best practices and discuss pressing issue. These meetings have enabled Michael to remain in close contact with our chapters and has enhanced his ability to lead the IEEE-HKN Ritual Committee which focuses on enhancing the experience of our members. Michael is also an active participate on the society’s new strategic planning committee and has helped to chart a path forward for the Board and our chapters.

Governor, Regions 5-6

Rakesh Kumar

Governor, Regions 7-10

Lorena Garcia

Lorena Garcia received her Electronic Engineering degree from Universidad del Norte (2006) and the M.Sc. in Electronic and Computer Engineering from Universidad de Los Andes (2008). She has more than 10 years of experience in academic administration, teaching and research in important institutions in Colombia like Universidad de Los Andes, Universidad Militar Nueva Granada, and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Prof. Garcia has been Associate Dean of Electronic Engineering and Systems and Telecommunications Engineering programs at Universidad Sergio Arboleda, and Business Director of the Center of Excellence and Adoption on Internet of Things. She has also been a consultant on design and certification of internal telecommunications networks. Currently, she is Professor and Director of Laboratories and Facilities of the Faculty of Engineering and Basic Sciences of Universidad Central.

Lorena has served as an IEEE volunteer for 17 years.

Professor Garcia was inducted to the HKN Eta Chapter in 2016. During 2019, she has served as an HKN Globalization Committee Member.


Preeti Bajaj

Dr. Preeti Bajaj is an Electronics Engineer Graduated in 1991, Post graduate in 1998 and doctorate in Electronics Engineering in 2004. Having 27 year of experience, currently she is Director of G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur with 5500 students. She is known for her strategic planning, project management, innovations and out of box thinking. Her research interest includes Intelligent Transportation System, Soft Computing, Hybrid Intelligent Systems & Applications of Fuzzy logic in ITS. Her professional society affiliation includes Fellow- Institute of Engineers, Fellow IETE, Senior Member- IEEE. She is presently Secretary-IEEE India Council. She was also on Standing Committee of Global accreditation of IEEE Education Board. Six Doctoral students have been awarded PhD, 3 have submitted and 4 are pursuing & 30 have done Masters under her.

Her major contribution is in design and development of driver assistance systems like drivers fatigue detection system, driver’s action and emotion detection system, driver’s behavior modeling and applying hybrid fuzzy /genetic/PSO to various Intelligent Transportation Systems. She has also been instrumental to design and development of ITS systems in public and private sector on various areas of specialization like toll collection/toll audit system/highway traffic management system and advanced traveler Information systems.

She is founder General Chair of ICETET series of Seven IEEE Conferences. Dr. Bajaj holds awards like Best Teacher award, “Bhaskar Woman’s Award” for year 2010 and “Faculty of Month”. She is resource person for creating awareness of Outcome Based Education and also is Ex-member of General Council of NBA. Her current efforts include thrust on Innovations, internships, and entrepreneurships. Strong belief in innovations, she is putting all efforts to create an ecosystem for innovations and entrepreneurship. Her efforts have turned 208 projects into patents leading to transform a private Engineering institution into India’s premier, Engineering and Research Institute in last 5 years.

She is very Active IEEE Volunteer for last 18 plus, Worked regional, council, section level, subsection, branch level, above all counselor for regional and students group for IEEE activities and taking them to wonderful world of innovations through IEEE. Her passion is to connect bringing industry institutions and community at one place and brining need-based innovations through technology for students by students.

Governor At-Large

M. Ryan Bales

Dr. M. Ryan Bales is a Senior Research Engineer in the Sensors and Electromagnetic Applications Lab (SEAL) at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). He specializes in FPGA and embedded system design, and real-time signal processing for electronic warfare applications. His work has been the subject of 19 scholarly refereed publications, and he is an IEEE Senior Member and a professional engineer licensed in the state of Georgia.

Dr. Bales is passionate about community and professional service. He has served as treasurer of the Atlanta IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society / Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society joint chapters since 2013, and is engaged with the leadership of the Atlanta Section. He is a member of the Association of Old Crows, Eta Kappa Nu, and the Order of the Engineer. He was a very active member of the Gamma Theta chapter of Eta Kappa Nu for four years as an undergraduate and graduate student. He received the Gamma Theta Advisor’s Leadership Award and the Founder’s Award for Service for his work in these roles. He continues involvement with HKN today, having served on the Professional Membership Committee since 2017. At GTRI, he represents SEAL on the GTRI Faculty Senate for the 2017-2020 term, acting as a liaison between over 220 SEAL research faculty and the Georgia Tech governing body. In 2018, he helped organize a petition to increase GTRI representation on the Georgia Tech Presidential Search Committee. He regularly volunteers in K-12 and collegiate STEM activities. Since 2006 he has served as a judge at more than 30 local, regional, and state science fairs in three states. Dr. Bales is certified by the state of Georgia to test and report water quality in Georgia watersheds, and collects data on the Etowah River.

Dr. Bales received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering as an Honors Academy Fellow in 2004 and his Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 2006, both from the University of Missouri – Rolla. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2011.

Governor At-Large

James M. Conrad

James Conrad has spent an equal amount of time working in industry and academia. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in computer engineering from North Carolina State University. He is currently a professor at the UNC Charlotte and Associate Department Chair. He has served as an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas and as an instructor at North Carolina State University. He has worked for IBM, Ericsson/Sony Ericsson, and two start-up companies. He teaches and conducts research in the areas of embedded systems, robotics, parallel processing, artificial intelligence, and engineering education. He has published eight books in the field of embedded systems and robotics. Dr. Conrad also serves IEEE as an ABET Program Evaluator, and serves the community on the Board of Directors for FIRST North Carolina, the state organization supporting the FIRST Robotics program.

Student Governor

Katelyn Brinker

My name is Katelyn Brinker. I am currently pursuing a graduate  degree in electrical engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) with the support of a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship, having graduated in May of 2017 with bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering from the same university. In my time as a student I have been heavily involved on my campus and in IEEE, and I have also been the recipient of the DiscoverE New Faces of Engineering 2017 IEEE-USA award and the HKN 2017 Outstanding Student Award. As an undergraduate student, I was a member of the Missouri S&T world champion Mars Rover Design Team where I held the positions of PR and Outreach Chair, Chief Technology Officer, Science Team Lead, and R&D Team Lead during my 4 years on the team. These roles provided me with experience in event organization, publicity, project management, and leadership, which allowed me to effectively serve as the Missouri S&T IEEE Student Branch President for the 2016-2017 school year and the HKN Gamma Theta Chapter President in Spring of 2017. I have also served as the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society Undergraduate Representative, on the IEEE STL Section Editorial Board, and on the HKN Conference Committee. Through these experiences I’ve gotten to meet and make connections with HKN and IEEE members from all over the world and in the process I’ve gained a lot of perspective on the different challenges faced by various IEEE organizational units, including HKN chapters, and how culture also affects how initiatives are received. I’ve also learned a lot about creating student programs for a global audience. I believe that I can bring this experience, perspective, and passion for service into a position on the IEEE-HKN Board of Governors to help grow our organization and our member engagement.

Student Governor

Sandro Sartoni

Sandro Sartoni is an Electronic Engineering student and President of the Mu Nu chapter from Turin, Italy.

Sandro attended his Bachelor Degree Course in Electronic Engineering at the University of Florence, graduating in 2017. He then enrolled at the Politecnico di Torino University, where he is attending his MSc Degree in Electronic Engineering – Embedded Systems.

Sandro was President of the Mu Nu chapter for the 2018-2019 academic year. His new role enabled him to be more involved in international HKN activities and in the beginning of 2019, he became part of the HKN Board’s Public Relations and Communications Committee. Also in 2019, he worked to ensure the growth of the Mu Nu chapter and its members, as well as the promotion of IEEE-HKN on social media channels. In July 2019, he took part at COMPSAC, the IEEE Computer Society annual conference, in which, together with Nancy Ostin, presented what HKN is and what chapters do throughout the world.

To see a list of committee members click here

Candidates for the 2020 Election

Learn more about the candidates running to serve you on the society’s Board of Governors.

The election will be held from 1 October through 1 November 2020.

Learn more!

operations manual

This manual provides direction for the day-to-day operations of the society.

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process manual

Subsidiary documents to the operations manual are in draft stage and will serve as the organization’s process manual

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IEEE-HKN Committees

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Minutes of the Board of Governors Meetings

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