2015 Presenter Biographies


Tom Coughlin, the founder of Coughlin Associates has over 30 years of magnetic recording engineering and engineering management experienceat companies developing flexible tapes and floppy disc storage as well as rigid disks at such companies as Polaroid, Seagate Technology, Maxtor, Micropolis, Nashua Computer Products, Ampex and SyQuest.

Tom has started two well know storage related conferences, Storage Visions (a partner event to the annual CES) as well as the Creative Storage Conference.  He has over 70 published articles, books and reports and 6 granted patents.  Tom is also the author of Digital Storage in Consumer Electronics.  He has also been the chairman for the last 5 years of the Flash Memory Summit.  Coughlin Associates publishes reports on digital storage and applications as well as provides various types of consulting services.  In addition to being a Senior Member of IEEE and the 2015-2016Director of Region 6, Tom is an active member in IDEMA, IEEE, SMPTE, SNIA and other technical organizations.  Tom received his BS in Physics from the University of Minnesota where he also received an MS in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Materials Science.  He received a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Shinshu University in Nagano, Japan.

Tom has provided marketing, intellectual property and technology assessments and projections.  His clients include companies such as  Avid, LSI, Network Appliance, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, Seagate Technology, The Woodside Fund, Quantum and many others.


Mr. Andrews is Managing Partner of Andrews & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in new product R&D, business and management development, Emergency Planning, Business Mitigation, Response and Resumption Planning and Operational Readiness programs for business, schools and government entities.

Mr. Andrews is a Senior Member of IEEE and is currently serving IEEE members as the Region 6 Past Director.  Mr. Andrews’ commitment to the community includes STEM and CTE programs including the Future City Competition and the Smart Education Foundation, host to the SMART Competition.

He is also very active with the Salvation Army, Arizona LeaderForce and the Williams Institute for Ethics and Management.  He was awarded an IEEE Millennium Medal for outstanding achievements and contributions to IEEE and the IEEE-USA Robert S. Walleigh Award for Distinguished Contributions to Engineering Professionalism Award.


MikeHS01 Purple_Squirrel_3D_Cover_HI_RES

Michael B. Junge is the author of Purple Squirrel: Stand Out, Land Interviews, and Master the Modern Job Market and a recognized thought leader in the careers space. Over the course of his career, Mike has earned MVP and Top Performer awards in the recruiting organization at Google, been a five time Recruiter of the Year with a national recruiting firm, and helped grow a startup from $0 to over $50 million in annual revenues. His articles, advice, and interviews have been featured on ABC, KTLA, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fins.com, Forbes, Recruiting Trends, PE Hub, Monster Working, Inc.com, US News, and more. Purple Squirrel has been a frequent category best-seller on Amazon and has helped thousands of job seekers find greater success and fulfillment in the hunt for meaningful employment.

TALK DESCRIPTION: The Power of a Personal Brand

Your professional brand goes far beyond your resume, cover letter, and online presence. A positive brand can open the door to exceptional opportunities and pave the path to an uncommonly rewarding career. In this talk Michael Junge will share what it takes to land jobs with the world’s best employers, and how you can build the kind of personal brand that makes you a legitimate top prospect.



Natalia Baklitskaya is a Design Verification Engineer at Qualcomm Atheros in San Jose, CA. As a member of a fast paced Integrated Wireless Technology team, she works with WiFi (802.11x) technology at the Physical layer.

Natalia graduated from Columbia University with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2011 and M.S. in 2012. She conducted research on graphene transistors as part of Kenneth Shepard’s lab as an undergraduate student, and took on a full-time job co-running Columbia’s clean room while working on her Master’s degree. She joined IBM upon graduation, working on the SystemZ mainframe processor as a hardware engineer in Poughkeepsie, NY. She was heavily involved in IEEE student branch at Columbia University, serving as local chapter president, and continues to be a professional IEEE member. Natalia is a member of IEEE Computer Society, Communications Society and Women in Engineering Society, and continues to stay actively involved in IEEE by volunteering throughout her career.

TALK DESCRIPTION: Corporate Culture: What makes working at Qualcomm exciting?

Finding a “good fit” position isn’t easy: Qualcomm wasn’t on my career road map when I finished my MSEE in 2012, so how did I get here? And why do I stay? So much relies on understanding the difference between skills you bring from college, vs what you pick up on the job —  and how your attitude and learning mindset, coupled with good team dynamics and a supportive supervisor/employer, makes all the difference in transition. I will talk about what it is like to be part of a Design Verification team working on WiFi at Qualcomm and discuss strategies to create a fun and friendly working environment at your workplace.


carolyn andrews

Carolyn Andrews is the owner of Your ActionCOACH, a certified business and executive coach and international speaker.  Her business experience ranges from Fortune 100 companies to organizations with less than 50 staff members. She is recognized as an outstanding business strategist and an inspiring leader. She works with you to identify and implement strategies, increase your effectiveness and empower you and your team.  She brings her insights and experiences as a senior corporate executive and a successful business owner to help others become great leaders and perform to their potential.

TALK DESCRIPTION: Networking –Key to Making a Dynamic Impact
Networking is an opportunity for both professional development and personal advancement. Do you need to build your circle of influence, find a mentor or have your skills and talents discovered?  Learn a strategic, repeatable approach that works in today’s marketplace whether you are connected in the workplace, professional associations or your personal community.


Dr. Kate Jenkins is a software engineer for Ejenta, Inc, a startup in San Francisco that uses artificial intelligence to monitor and reason about behavioral information (human-human and human-computer).  For projects spanning industry verticals from space to government to healthcare, she is responsible for hardware integration and sensor streaming (proximity, gesture, social dynamics).  She co-founded her first company in 2004 and has since published more than 35 peer-reviewed articles on advanced materials for magnetoelectric sensing and high performance computing.  She is a Senior Member of IEEE (magnetics, CES) and in 2015-2016 will be the student activities chair for IEEE Region 6.


Nathalie 2013 -portrait

Nathalie Gosset, EE, MS, MBA is Sr. Director, Market and Technology Innovation Evaluation at the Alfred E Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California, where she is responsible for estimating the commercial value of high-end leading technologies invented at USC. In her role of gate keeper, she reviews more than 100 ideas each year from which the Institute selects four to five concepts to sponsor and commercialize. Ms. Gosset has over 27 years of experience in the development and commercialization of technology-based products. She has weaved engineering, marketing, and business throughout her professional life. Prior to AMI, she was the Vice President of Engineering at Sabeus and Director of Engineering at Novera. She enjoyed working in startup companies as well as in large corporations. At Alcatel, she was the Director of the Program Management Office overseeing the activities of about 600 engineers. She had received several prestigious IEEE awards, Engineer of the Year from the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineering Buenaventura Section as well as a global service award from the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society for her volunteer work with the biomedical community in the world. Ms. Gosset holds a BSEE from ISEP (Paris, France); MS in Telecommunications (Boulder, CO); MBA (University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN).

Talk description: Jobs of the Future
Technology keeps evolving at warp speed and challenges the way we work and the way we think. In this continuously changing landscape, how can we ensure that we are professionally relevant as an engineer when we graduate and during the course of our career? Nathalie Gosset, a sought after keynote speaker on matters related to the Future, will describe multiple emerging market segments where a new engineer can thrive and pursue successful careers. She will explain how to catch these new waves and how to attract employers. Ms. Gosset is frequently invited by companies, universities, and state agencies to present her insights on the future job market and on ways to accelerate STEM education in the United States. She believes that each person is responsible for maintaining their own professional relevance. In her talk she provides multiple approaches to keep a fresh career profile. Ms. Gosset is the author of the book Hidden Jobs, How to Find Them.



Mr.  Kalina  has  more  than  10  years  of  experience  in  construction  and  engineering responsibilities, 5 of which have been in the natural gas industry. Mr. Kalina has functioned as  design  engineer,  project  manager,  and supervising  engineer  for  a  variety  of  projects associated with natural gas distribution and transmission pipelines.  He is currently involved in administering the SWG transmission pipeline integrity program to meet Federal (PHMSA) and State requirements. He has a B.S. degree in Civil  Engineering and is licensed by the Nevada  State  Board  of  Engineers  as  a  Civil  Engineer.  Mr.  Kalina  has  been  active  in  the selection and management of SWG Interns for the past 3 years.


robert johnson

Mr. Johnson is currently a Senior working on his B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering at UNLV. He has been performing engineering tasks at SWG as an Intern for the past 9 months in the Corporate office and in the Southern Nevada Division office. He has assisted Mr. Kalina by performing key functions in the SWG transmission pipeline integrity program and is currently performing engineering design reviews at the Division Operations level.  Mr. Johnson plans to continue his professional development by obtaining an MBA and Professional Engineering Certification while gaining more engineering and construction management work experience. Mr. Johnson enjoys the opportunity to work with many different groups within SWG.



Pramod Abichandani is the founder of LocoRobo. Inc and directs the Robotics and Decision Sciences Group at Drexel University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Additionally, he serves as the Director of the Second Year Engineering Curriculum at the College of Engineering at Drexel University.

His research interests are centered around optimal, multi-dimensional, data-driven decision-making. On the education side, he is leading research efforts that explore credentialing in engineering education, the scalability of engineering education innovations and technology, and engineering-specific learning theories for data analytics education. He has been an active IEEE volunteer since his undergraduate years and has served in various global IEEE leadership positions.

He received his Bachelors of Engineering (B.E.) degree in 2005 from Nirma Institute of Technology, Gujarat University, India, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Drexel University in 2007 and 2011 respectively.



As Executive Director, Technology Strategy at Dolby Laboratories, Patrick Griffis is charged with helping define future technology strategy for the company which includes identifying and tracking key technical trends, performing technical due diligence, and supporting advanced technology initiatives for the company.

Before joining Dolby, Pat spent 10 years at Microsoft leading global digital media standards strategy, including adoption of the Digital Living Network Alliance as a baseline media sharing standard in Windows 7 and standardization of Windows Media Video technology as an international SMPTE standard.

Prior to Microsoft, Pat spent 15 years at Panasonic in senior management positions, including Vice President of Strategic Product Development at Panasonic Broadcast, where he helped launch DVCPRO and drive US strategy for HDTV. Pat started his careerat RCA, earning eight patents in TV product design.

Pat has been an ATSC board member and Vice Chairman of the Board of the Digital Living Network Alliance. He served two terms as President of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society. Pat is currently a member of the IBC Council, an industry executive advisory group, and of the Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. A SMPTE Fellow, he serves on the SMPTE Executive Committee as Vice President, Education. Pat holds a BSEE degree from Tufts University and an MSEE from Purdue University.


Joseph C Decuir 2014

Joe Decuir is still having an interesting career. After two degrees at UC Berkeley, he has worked in medical electronics, video games, personal computers, communications and networking. He was just elevated to Fellow by IEEE for work on video games. He has been writing public standards for connectivity in mass market products, including modems, USB and Bluetooth. He is also active organizing the 2015 Global Humanitarian Technology Conference for October 2015.

The Internet of Things is the current industry hype. Estimates run into the billions of devices and trillions of dollars. In fact, it will generate a lot of products, and a lot of engineering jobs. Fortunes will be won and lost. It will also generate some interesting new problems. The speaker is an expert on some aspects of this market, and will give a similar talk at ICCE a week later.


Nate Johnson

Dr. Nathan Johnson is an Assistant Professor in The Polytechnic School of the Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. He is an active researcher and teacher of sustainability, multidisciplinary design, and energy systems modeling and optimization. Through his work, Dr. Johnson confronts global energy challenges by evaluating energy options against the technical, human, and environmental factors inherent to real-world problems. His work combines experimental design with model-based systems engineering to develop decision-making tools that support the design of sustainable products and services around the world. These tools are primarily applied in the design of micro-grid power systems and building energy systems. Dr. Johnson is active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Arizona State University recognizes Dr. Johnson as a Senior Sustainability Scientist in recognition for his globally-focused sustainability efforts.

TALK DESCRIPTION:  Confronting Energy Challenges in Our Global Future
Engineers serve a vital role in confronting global energy challenges. Over the next 30 years, young engineers, especially, will be needed to create energy solutions that address climate change, world population growth, and foster economic development. This is no small problem. Technological innovation is needed to keep our lights on and keep homes warm (or cool) with minimal environmental impact. Renewable energy generation is part of the solution, as is advanced power electronics, demand management, energy storage, carbon capture and storage, and hybrid power systems. Yet a focus on technology alone is insufficient for success. Engineers that view and understand technology design within the context of dynamic social, economic, and environmental factors will be best suited to address the challenges ahead.

In this talk, Dr. Johnson will discuss his work in designing energy technologies and energy systems to confront energy challenges in industrialized economies and emerging markets. He will describe trends and provide cutting-edge examples of research in micro-grids, building energy management, smart devices, distributed generation, critical infrastructure resiliency, and various energy technologies such as solar PV, concentrating solar power, and thermal and electrochemical energy storage devices. Dr. Johnson will indicate opportunities for early career engineers in these and other areas, and emphasize the importance of bridging academic research with commercialized application. His US-based and international projects will demonstrate how engineers can pursue a variety of career paths locally and globally.



Lori Belnap is director and program manager for Northrop Grumman Technical Services’ Integrated Logistics and Modernization Division’s Engineering and Systems Integration Operating Unit.

In this role, Ms. Belnap oversees several integrated product and process teams responsible for hardware and software sustainment, system assessment and support for technical manuals and maintenance, along with product, software, operational and mechanical structures support. She works closely with the United States Air Force Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) Systems Directorate, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, and other contractors ensuring the continued sustainment of the Minuteman III weapon system.

Ms. Belnap also leads the effort to implement Northrop Grumman’s Proactive Risk-Integrated System Management (PRISM) ApproachTM, which reduces lifecycle costs to system users and extends system longevity.

Previously, Ms Belnap served as the director of sustainment and deputy program manager for the ICBM Systems business unit. In this role, she was responsible for all sustainment efforts for the Minuteman III weapon system under the ICBM Prime Integration Contract (IPIC).

Earlier she was director of the Systems Engineering Integration and Test Integrated Product Team including Northrop Grumman and various subcontractors across multiple states. Ms. Belnap was thesingle point of contact to the United States Air Force ICBM Chief Engineer and co-chair of the IPIC Technical Review Board and Risk Management Board.

She also served as program manager for the ACAT III Safety Enhance Reentry Vehicle (SERV) and Rapid Execution and Combat Targeting (REACT) Service Life Extension Program (SLEP), two highly recognized ICBM modernization programs with excellent technical, schedule, and cost performance, and lauded for solid professional relationships with both the customer and industry partners.

Ms. Belnap joined the company in 1986 and has over 27 years of experience in all phases of program management, software/systems engineering, and managing weapon system sustainment andACAT programs.


Michael Springman Portrait

Mike Springman is vice president, program management for Harmony Technology Services, providing information technology management services for Federal programs and contractors. He is currently managing multiple IT projects for the National Security Technologies joint venture that manages and operates the Nevada National Security Site near Las Vegas.

He retired from Northrop Grumman in 2012 after working for 37 years on technology programs for a variety of military, intelligence, Federal and commercial customers and applications. His most recent assignments for Northrop’s Information Systems sector involved managing programs for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of Defense (DoD).

From 2006-2008, he was vice president and chief information officer (CIO) for Northrop Grumman’s $5 billion Mission Systems sector, providing the IT infrastructure, applications and services for 20,000 employees at sites across the U.S. and internationally.

Other programs managed for Northrop Grumman included tactical command, control and communication systems for U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Joint and Coalition customers; software development for the Air Force’s strategic missile warning system, B-2 strategic bomber, and Minuteman ICBMs; multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) system implementations; and commercial IT outsourcing engagements.

Mike began his career with TRW in 1975 and joined Northrop Grumman in 2002 when Northrop acquired TRW. He earned a master’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of Coloradoand a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Southwest Minnesota State University. He completed the executive management program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Mike is past Chairman Emeritus of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) and was on the Board of Directors of the Northern Virginia Family Service non-profit organization for four years. He lives in Ashburn, Virginia with his wife, Tracey. They have three children, all of whom will have graduated from college as of Spring 2015. His hobbies and extracurricular activities include military history, guitar, photography/videography,writing, ballroom dancing, and any sport with a ball.



Mr. Hipskind is the Chief of the Earth Science Division at NASA Ames Research Center. The division is primarily a research group working on global to local problems in Earth system science using NASA’s unique perspective from space. The Division focuses on atmospheric and ecosystem science and technology development. It is comprised of over100 scientists, engineers and technical support personnel using observations from space and specialized aircraft. The division has a heritage of scientific discovery and application of NASA science and technology for societal benefit. Recent studies have focused on pollution transport into and out of North America, tropical cloud systems and climate impact on the water cycle as well as coastal ocean processes, including coral reefs and algal blooms. The division has led the nation in the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for Earth observations. It has a major collaborative effort with the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division at Ames developing the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX), a unique, leading edge system to provide better access to NASA’s Earth observations, models and analytical tools.

Mr. Hipskind began his career at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and then at Oregon State University before coming to NASA Ames. He has conducted research in stratosphere-troposphere exchange and led the early development of the Ames’ Earth Science Project Office into the premier NASA group for managing national and international airborne field campaigns. His field work has taken him from Punta Arenas, Chile on the Straits of Magellan to Kiruna, Sweden above the Arctic circle, and many latitudes and longitudes in between.



Tom Artushin is the Safety Strategy and Communications Manager in the Automotive Safety Office in Dearborn Michigan.  His focus is on product safety communications, third party/governmental testing programs and forecasting global safety regulations.  He has presented on safety and driver assist features to a variety of audiences throughout the U.S. and is actively involved with industry safety organizations.  He is devoted to promoting vehicle and traffic safety.

Over the past 35 years at Ford, he has held a variety positions in Emissions, Product Planning, Engineering and Marketing.  Tom holds a BS in Chemistry and an MS in Business.



Tenaya is a Maker. From finding out about the new microcontroller technology in March 2013, she’s taken off with the electronic fever of Making. Yes, she is the new #LadyMaker on the scene, joining the project and coding community of Arduino – Linino. Tenaya is the Education Accounts Manager for dog hunter, and enjoys teaching makers how to code and make circuits. She teaches teachers and writes STEM curriculum for wireless microcontrollers. In her free time, Tenaya enjoys teaching beginners in wearable technology – sewing and soldering. Check out Intel’s new report about the #MakeHer movement, or the fun article from San Jose State’s Spartan Daily. Tenaya’s grandpa was Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu, and inspires her to bring electrical engineering opportunities to students everywhere.



Aakanksha Chowdhery is a postdoctoral researcher in the Mobility and Networking Group at Microsoft Research where her research centers on the design of algorithms and protocols for next-generation mobile systems, in particular toward reducing latency to access the cloud. She completed her MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. In 2012, she became the first woman to win the Paul Baran Marconi Young Scholar Award, given for the scientific contributions in the field of communications and the Internet. She also received the Youngmi Joo Stanford School of Engineering Fellowship and the Stanford’s Diversifying Academia Recruiting Excellence (DARE) fellowship. Prior to joining Stanford, she completed her Bachelor’s degree at IIT Delhi where she received the President’s Silver Medal Award. When not working, she enjoys meeting people, traveling the world, and trying new adventures such as skydiving and hiking Mt. Rainier, hacking gourmet food recipes and latest technology gadgets.



William Hurley, commonly known as whurley, has started a new company Happy Dollar.