IEEE-HKN’s Premiere Online Event That Connects You With Industry Experts

2 and 3 February 2023

Our 2023 Pathways to Industry program is a 2-day virtual event that prepares students to enter the workforce and advises young professionals on how to advance in their careers. Register for the conference and choose which sessions you want to attend: Come to one, two or all sessions. Registration fee covers all learning sessions, networking events, and a recruitment fair!

HKN Members US$10 | IEEE Members US$20 | Non-Members US$30

  • Sign-in using your IEEE login credentials to unlock member rates
  • Register by 28 January for the Early-bird US$5 discount

For Information about the Hopin platform and a troubleshooting guide follow the link here

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Patrick O. Nunally

  • Father Of the Arbitron and Nielsen Radio ratings system
  • 1992 HKN Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer Award Recipient
  • Member of Epsilon Phi Chapter at California Polytechnic State University

Thomas M. Coughlin

Thomas M. Coughlin is an IEEE Life Fellow and the 2023 IEEE president-elect. A proud IEEE- HKN member, he is set to begin serving as president on 1 January 2024.  Coughlin is founder and president of Coughlin Associates, in San Jose, Calif., which provides market and technology analysis as well as data storage, memory technology, and business consulting services. He has more than 40 years of experience in the data storage industry and has been a consultant for over 20 years. He has been granted six patents.

Before starting his own company, Coughlin held senior leadership positions at Ampex, Micropolis, and SyQuest.

He is the author of Digital Storage in Consumer Electronics: The Essential Guide, which is in its second edition. He is a regular contributor on digital storage for the Forbes blog and other news outlets. As a distinguished lecturer for the Consumer Technology Society and IEEE Student Activities, he has spoken on digital storage in consumer electronics, digital storage and memory for artificial intelligence, and how students can make IEEE their “professional home.”

Featured Speakers

Susan Young

Susan Young is an award-winning story and speaker coach. She is the CEO of Get in Front Communications, a 22-year-old consulting company. Susan works with emerging leaders and business professionals who want to become bold communicators, so they have more visibility, credibility, and impact.

Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan

Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan is a globally renowned technologist best known for his technological innovations in addressing global humanitarian and sustainable development challenges. He is credited with launching impactful global programs in humanitarian engineering which successfully inspired and engaged students and young professionals in sustainable development activities globally. He is a seasoned technology and business leader with over 16 years of experience in Top 500 Fortune companies. Throughout his career, he has led  business critical strategic  global programs and successfully delivered cutting-edge technologies in areas of conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Understanding, cloud computing, enterprise systems, infrastructure technologies, assistive and sustainable technologies. He served as an expert in the 2020 Broadband Commission working group on school connectivity co-chaired by UNESCO, UNICEF and ITU to drive “GIGA,” a Global School Connectivity Initiative. He is the founder and president of “The Brahmam,” a technology-based humanitarian program that delivers next-generation social innovations to achieve sustainable development through technological advancements and benefit marginalized communities globally. For over a decade, he has successfully launched large-scale transformational global initiatives that brought together academic institutions, industries and government agencies to address pressing global challenges faced in developing nations and improved the living conditions of children with disabilities, impoverished women and students from marginalized communities. He has delivered 250+ invited talks in international forums, premier technology conferences, industry panels organized by UN, IEEE, ITU, World IoT forum and Top universities around the globe. He has authored  and published 30+ research publications and thought leadership articles in leading global conferences, journals and magazines. His technological innovations and leadership excellence  were featured in cover stories of global media such as IEEE TVIEEE spectrum, USA today, E-week, AI-news and IEEE transmitter, THE BRIDGE and ACM-News.

Dr. Karen A. Panetta

Dr. Panetta is the Dean of Graduate Education for the School of Engineering at Tufts University. She is also a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering. She earned her BS in Computer Engineering at Boston University, and her MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Before joining the faculty at Tufts, Dr. Panetta was a Principal Engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation. She has been recognized with numerous awards for teaching and mentoring, including the NSF PAESMEM Award, which was presented to her by U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House

Christopher Sanderson

Christopher Sanderson is an Organizational Leadership Effectiveness coach and keynote speaker. He is an US Army Veteran with multiple Honorable Tours of Duty and numerous corporate and non-profit recognitions. During his time in the military, he lived by the motto “Mission First, People Always!” He is passionate about emboldening people to live and lead better in a better #VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) world. As a manager, consultant, speaker, coach and leadership facilitator, he is been fortunate to be a part of some amazing organizations in the military, corporations and non-profit teams from around the world in helping them make better decisions and even braver actions to amplify their impact. As the IEEE Region 5 South Area Chair and Houston Section Chair, he has been given the opportunity to support the future leaders that will be “Advancing Technology for Humanity” today and tomorrow.

Aleksandra Checko

Aleksandra Checko – Jelonek, PhD, has extensively worked on mobile networks, their architecture and optimization. She currently works as a Product Manager at IS-Wireless. Aleksandra completed her PhD at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) (2016) with MTI Radiocomp in the area of Cloud RAN and fronthaul. She did her MSc in telecommunications at DTU and Lodz University of Technology, Poland.

She has experience in R&D work, including project and product management (MTI Radiocomp, IS-Wireless), research (publications with over 2300 citations), standardization (IEEE, Open RAN), teaching (DTU, Ericpol/Ericsson), and expert consultancy (European Commission). 

She works with Open RAN Alliance standards. She served as a technical editor of IEEE 1914.1 standard, she was contributing to the IEEE 1914 Next Generation Fronthaul Interface task force (IEEE 1914.1 and 1914.3).

She has lived and worked in Denmark, Poland, France and Taiwan

Dragan Samardzija

Dragan Samardzija received a B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering and computer science in 1996 from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Wireless Information Network Laboratory (WINLAB), Rutgers University, USA, in 2000 and 2004, respectively. Since 2000, he have been with Bell Labs, where he has been involved in the next generation wireless system research with focus on analysis, design, and experimental evaluation of radio access solutions. Most recently, his work has focused on radio access implementation platforms (dedicated and CoTS) and Cloud RAN. Samardzija is currently managing research work at four international Nokia Bell Labs locations and received the Bell Labs Fellow award in 2017.

 In addition to his work at Bell Labs, he teaches and mentors students at University of Novi Sad, covering communication networks, signal processing and deep learning. He has taught a number of courses, including at Columbia University, and held numerous technical workshops around the world. He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications and numerous patents granted and pending.

Dr. Theodore Sizer

Dr. Theodore(Tod) Sizer leads the Optical System and Device Research Lab in Nokia Bell Labs, leading teams innovating in all aspects of optical systems and devices for access, core, submarine, and data center communications. Prior to his current role, Tod lead Wireless Research in Nokia Bell Labs for eight years driving the vision and research of 5G. Tod graduated from Amherst College, and received his Masters and Doctorate in Optics from the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. In 2012 he received the Popular Science Breakthrough Innovation award for the lightRadio invention. Tod is a Fellow of Bell Labs, WWRF, and IEEE. He is the author of 55 US patents and a member of the IEEE and Optica.

Mark Easley

Mark Easley is part of the team behind the TI University Program, which is committed to engineering student success and supporting institutions of higher learning that will train the next generation of makers and creators. His focus is on connecting students with employment opportunities in the semiconductor industry. His daily tasks include supporting universities with electrical and computer engineering curriculum enhancements, courseware support, and electronics workshops to improve student engagement and outcomes. He is also interested in enhancing industry partnerships and semiconductor / IoT research activities and assisting faculty with preparing students to enter industry with effective knowledge in Design, System, Power, and Connectivity. His background at TI includes product and software development, account management, business development, web marketing, tutorial writing, demo creation, outbound marketing content creation, and community engagement.

Hulya Kirkici

Hulya Kirkici is Professor and the Department Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of South Alabama. She received B.S. and M.S. in physics from Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey; and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Polytechnic University (currently NYU), NY.  Previously, Dr. Kirkici was Professor of electrical and computer engineering at Auburn University (1992-2016), visiting scholar and Summer Faculty Fellow at the Air Force Research Laboratory – Wright Patterson Air Force Base, (2014-2015), and visiting scientist/engineer at NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL (1999-2000).

Dr. Kirkici is a Fellow of IEEE for “contributions to high frequency, high field dielectric breakdown and electrical insulation for space and aerospace power systems” and a recipient of the IEEE Eric O. Forster Distinguished Service Award and the IEEE William G. Dunbar Award (High Voltage Technical award).  Dr. Kirkici served as 2019 IEEE Vice President – Publications, IEEE Director and was a Member of the IEEE Board of Directors and the Chair of Publications Services and Products Board.  She was the President of IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society, the Vice President of IEEE Sensors Council (2014-2015), and Treasurer and Finance Chair of IEEE PSPB (2011-2014).

Vikrant Shah

Vikrant Shah is a roboticist working on the long tail challenges to make autonomous vehicles mainstream. He has engineering degrees from UT Austin, MIT, and Northeastern University. He started his career as a Subsea Engineer in the Deepwater Oil & Gas industry working on autonomous technologies and ROV-based remote interventions. With the robotics industry accelerating, he decided to pursue his true passion and go back to school for a Ph.D. as a way to get current with cutting-edge robotics. His Ph.D. work has involved traveling to Antarctica to perform autonomous surveys for penguin colony health, developing under-ice autonomous vehicles, designing an autonomous trash picking robot and his Ph.D. thesis focuses on mapping drifting icebergs using multibeam sonars and cameras. His interests are racquetball, cricket, hiking, skiing, and trance music.


Create a compelling LinkedIn Profile, Presented By: Christopher Sanderson: Thursday Feb 2, 10:15 am 

Welcome to LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 875 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Is your profile compelling and effective enough for your 2023 employment goals?

The Role Universities Play in Meeting Industry’s Electrification Skills Shortage, Presented by IEEE PELS/TEC: Thursday Feb 2 11:15 am

Transportation electrification is an area that requires highly skilled workers, from engineers to technicians. The current skills gap cannot be addressed by simply waiting for more graduates as the job positions have to be filled now. What is the role of higher education institutions? Can online training courses help us to upskill graduate engineers?


Moderator: Jose Ortiz Gonzalez


  • Peter Gammon
  • Iain Mosely

Keynote Address : IEEE, A Home for Professionals, Presented By: Thomas Coughlin: Thursday Feb 2, 12:15pm

With modern technical careers spanning multiple employers and involving many changes in the work being done, modern technology professionals need a place where they can get the career support that they need and develop strong connections that can help with their careers. IEEE can be your professional home and provide you with valuable resources to keep up to date in your field, learn new information and skills, publicize your expertise, connect with others in your field, find career opportunities, protect your livelihood and satisfy your need to give back and contribute to those in need

How to find and rock your internship or early career, Presented By Texas Instruments’ Mark Easley: Thursday Feb 2, 3:00pm

Learn techniques for technical resume writing and where to uncover the best opportunities for engineering roles

Amplify Your Online Presence to Build Your Confidence, Credibility, and Career With Susan Young: Thursday Feb 2, 4:00pm


It’s tough getting noticed in our noisy, chaotic online world. New and recent graduates must know how to show up and speak up online so they can develop their visibility and networks. Susan shows you how to proactively self-promote —in a powerful, not pompous way. In this 50-minute presentation, you’ll discover: The #1 Thing You MUST Do—Even if You Don’t Have A Lot (or any) Experience, How to Connect with Decisionmakers Online Who Can Hire You, 3 Easy Tips to Simplify + Clarify Your Posts and Messages So People Pay Attention!

 An Introduction to IEEE-GRSS and Remote Sensing Presented by: David Kunkee, Friday Feb 3, 10:00am

This session will introduce the audience to the areas of interest of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) and how what we do touches everyday lives.

Growing Technical Skills Outside the Classroom– John Deere: Friday Feb 3, 11:00am

Learn the secrets of success from Patrick Nunally, the father of the Arbitron and Nielsen ratings system, and how he has leveraged his networks of contacts throughout his career to create and nurture his businesses. Dr. Karen Panetta, Dean of Graduate Education for the School of Engineering at Tufts University, will moderate this lively conversation.

Keynote: Patrick Nunally “Building Networks to build your Career” A conversation with Patrick Nunally moderated by Dr. Karen Panetta: Friday Feb 3, 12:00pm

Learn the secrets of success from Patrick Nunally, the father of the Arbitron and Nielsen ratings system, and how he has leveraged his networks of contacts throughout his career to create and nurture his businesses. Dr. Karen Panetta, Dean of Graduate Education for the School of Engineering at Tufts University, will moderate this lively conversation.

Fireside Chat with Leaders from Nokia Bell Labs and IS-Wireless, Brought to you by IEEE Communications Society: Friday Feb 3, 1:00pm

Sit down and get friendly with industry leaders from Nokia Bell Labs and IS-Wireless. This moderated session will be an informal, intimate conversation with leaders from some of the world’s top communications organizations. Ask questions, gain insights, and understand how their experience and advice can fuel your future.

  • Aleksandra Checko – Jelonek, PhD – Product Manager, IS-Wireless (Poland)

  • Dragan Samardzija, Senior Research Leader, Bell Labs (USA)

  • Tod Sizer, Vice President of the Wireless Research Program in Bell Labs

  • Moderator, Cyn Sikora, Director of Industry Outreach and Education, IEEE Communications Society

Pivot: Navigating Significant Transitions, Presented by IEEE-HKN Young Alumn: Friday Feb 3, 2:00pm

This interactive conversation will give you the inside scoop from young alumni about topics like graduating, interviewing, switching schools, transitioning jobs, corporate cultures, layoffs, interviewing, and what they did not tell you in engineering school.

Moderator: Amy Jones, Display Product Manager – John Deere Construction & Forestry


  • Katelyn (Katie) Brinker, Ph.D., Senior Nondestructive Evaluation Engineer at Pratt & Whitney
  • Hulya Kirkici, Department Chair and Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering University of South Alabama
  • Vikrant Shah, Senior Systems Engineer, Waymo

Schedule Overview

We are designing an outstanding lineup of opportunities for you. Bolster your career and professional development with these live interactive sessions, and dedicated recruitment fair hours! 

Get a sneak peek below and check back for updates!

Thank You to the Sponsors and Partners of the 2023 Pathways to Industry Conference