LMAG Meeting: "Prairie du Sac Hydro Tour"
Event: Hydro Plant Tour
Date/Time: Thursday, September 7th, from 3:30 PM
until 5:00 PM
Tour Guide: Amanda Blank, Alliant Energy
Location: Prairie du Sac
Carpool from West Towne Mall at 2:00 PM
RSVP: Please Register at the IEEE Madison Section event
The tour is limited to 24 people
arrange for a ride contact Chuck Cowie (firstname.lastname@example.org), Tom
Kaminski (email@example.com) or Dave Jenson
Carpool Pick Up: Three drivers who can take a total of 10
passengers are planning to leave from the south side of the Sears
Auto Center at the southeast corner of West Towne Mall. Chuck
Cowie can pick up an additional 3 passengers between East
Washington at Stoughton Road and West Towne Mall. Those who would
like a ride are requested to email one of the above contacts so we
will know who to expect. We plan to be ready to pick up passengers
at West Towne Mall at 2:15 PM and leave at 2:30 PM.
Tour: The planned September Life Member Affinity Group
event is a tour of Alliant energy’s Prairie du Sac Hydroelectric
plant on Thursday September 7th from 3:30 to 5:00 PM. The plant is
located about one mile north of Prairie du Sac. It operates 8
generators with a total capacity of about 31 megawatts. The
Prairie du Sac Dam is about 40 feet high and the total water flow
rate is about 10,000 cubic feet per second. The 9500 acre Lake
Wisconsin is formed by the dam. The plant was put into service in
The tour is planned to start with a presentation by Amanda Blank,
the plant manager. After the presentation we will have a guided
tour of the plant including the generator floor, control room and
bus room. Additional personnel will provide information and answer
questions about those areas. The tour will conclude with the
outdoor features of the facility.
Section Meeting: "Overview of USA Railway Electrification"
Event: Lunchtime Section Meeting
Date/Time: Monday, September 25th, from12:00 PM
until 1:30 PM NOTE the date/time change from typical section meetings!
Speaker: Mark Schulze, VP, BSNF
Location: Sequoya Library Branch, Room B
Carpool from West Towne Mall at 2:00 PM
RSVP: Please Register at the IEEE Madison Section event
Topic: Most of the world has electrified is main line
railroads, but the United States has not. Why is that when we have
freight traffic densities higher than many foreign nations. I will
discuss the economics of electrification from the viewpoint of the
BNSF railroad and the prospects for electrification in the future.
Speaker: Mark Schulze is vice president, Safety,
Training and Operations Support, for BNSF Railway. In this role, he
leads the System Safety and Technical Training teams and is
responsible for corporate technical research and development.
Schulze was named to his current position on June 1, 2005. He had
previously served as general manager of BNSF Railway’s Texas
Division and was named to that position in May 2004 after serving as
vice president and chief sourcing officer since November 2002. Prior
to being named to the sourcing post, Schulze had been assistant vice
president, Consumer Products Marketing, since early 2001. Schulze
joined the railroad in October 1990 as a corporate management
trainee. He progressed through the company, holding financial
positions in Coal and the Treasury department, and became manager,
Finance, in 1995. In 1997, he was promoted to director, Operating
Budget and Measurement, in the Finance department. He joined the
Marketing department in 1998 as general director, Business Unit
The August ECN-EMB-018
Joint Meeting featured a talks by Tom Kaminski and
Dennis Bahr on the use of Raspberry Pi SoCs for Audio and
medical instrumentation. Tom discussed the use of the Raspberry
Pi 3 in several projects, including an audio player, a sound
level meter, and a Sonic Boom monitoring system. Dennis
showed his low-power, battery operated Raspberry Pi Zero unit
aimed at portable medical instrumentation. The biggest
difference between the two units was the programming approach.
Tom primarily used the Python programming language on the
Raspbian flavor of Linux for his projects, while Dennis used a
"bare metal" approach. Dennis dug into the means needed to
compile a simple "C" program and load it into the Pi Zero.
His project boots very quickly and runs with little power while
Tom's approach requires the OS to boot first. Dennis is
now working on figuring out how to use the powerful graphics
pipeline in the Pi Zero to do Infinite Impulse Response
filtration. A copy of Tom's presentation is available at this link.
You may email Dennis at bahr-at-inexpress.net for more
information on the bare metal booting process.
Editorial Note: I was surprised to find out that three
members of the IEEE-Madison Executive Committee (Tom Kaminski,
Clark Johnson, and Charles Cowie) were all nearby in Western
Wyoming for the past Eclipse event on August 21. A fourth
member, Dennis Bahr, viewed the event from southern
Missouri. Tom used a Raspberry Pi outfitted with a camera
to produce a time lapse of the event. You may view the video at
He was in Glendo, WY and a picture of his set up for recording the
eclipse (along with his daughters and wife) is documented here.
The LMAG tour of the Sauk Prarie hydro plant is almost full,
so please sign up quickly. We will need to car pool to the
site because of limited parking. The carpool group will meet
near the Sears Automotive site on the South West side of West Town
at 2:00 PM to depart by 2:30 PM.
After we announced the meeting, Thomas Luck (pronounced "luke"),
an IEEE member contacted us and mentioned that his Dad had been
employed at the plant for many years and has documented the early
history of the plant. Tom's father, Ralph Luck, will join us
on the tour and has made a 350MByte "zip" file available for the
IEEE members to access at this dropbox link.
He also presented a link to a local newspaper article on the dam here.
Four of the images are shown below.
September Section Meeting -- Mark Shulze of BNSF Railroad
will present an informative talk on electrification of the US
railroads. It should be an interesting talk for those
interested in rail, and power systems. Note the date change
(Monday, September 25th) from our typical meeting time.
Micro Volunteers: Do you
have some time to spare to help IEEE-Madison Section? Perhaps
you have a meeting topic that you would like to see us host and
could find a speaker. Maybe you have time to call a few
members who might have forgotten to renew their membership. Particular
Need: Record Video/Audio of meetings for later use.
Contact Tom Kaminski (tjkaminski [at] ieee.org) to volunteer
The third Thursday of January through May, and September through
December is reserved for a meeting to provide recent research,
developments, trends and/or innovations in one of our membership's
The first Thursday of January, March, May, September and November
is reserved for a meeting on a topic selected from a broad range
including such areas as technology, science, history, culture and
Purpose: Presentations, Discussions, networking
Date: First Thursday of even-numbered months
Time: 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM
Location: Sector67, 2100 Winnebago Street (East Side of
Parking: Park in lot or on Winnebago Street.
Process: Members are encouraged to make introductions,
describe endeavors, and make request for: contacts in target
companies, needs, resources.
Those interested in upgrading their IEEE membership level should send
their resumes or other information showing five years of significant
performance in an IEEE-designated field to Charles J Gervasi via email
at cj(at)cgervasi.com. Madison Section Board will attempt to find
Senior IEEE members knowledgeable in the applicant’s area of practice
who may be able to provide references. You are invited to attend the
informal networking portion of the monthly Section meetings (starting
at 11:30am) to meet the Section Board members and discuss intentions.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE (read
Eye-Triple-E) is an international non-profit, professional
organization dedicated to advancing technology innovation and
excellence for the betterment of humanity. IEEE and its members
inspire a global community through IEEE's highly cited publications,
conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational
activities. It has the most members of any technical professional
organization in the world, with more than 300,000 members in around
150 countries. The IEEE consists of 38 societies, organized around
specialized technical fields, with more than 300 local organizations
that hold regular meetings. Discover what IEEE Member Discounts can
offer you. The Member Discounts portfolio consists of insurance
products and programs for the home, office and travel, all at
excellent group rates and reduced pricing. Visit IEEE Member
Discounts to see what’s available in your location and enjoy the
savings. For more information, please visit: IEEE.ORG.
Madison IEEE Section
The IEEE-Madison Section of the IEEE is a section in Region 4 of the
IEEE-USA organized to serve IEEE members in the Madison, WI area
with over 600 members. The 2016 Officers and Board Members are Tom
Kaminski - Chair, Scott Olsen - Vice Chair, Charles Gervasi -
Treasurer, Steve Schultheis - Secretary, Nate Toth - Webmaster, Tom
Kaminski - ECN Chair, Dennis Bahr - Engineering in Medicine and
Biology Chapter Chair, Chuck Kime - Life Member Affinity Group
Chair, Charles Cowie - Life Member Affinity Group Vice Chair, David
Jensen - Life Member Affinity Group Secretary, Members at Large: Clark Johnson, Craig Heilman, Dennis Bahr,
Check out WIEES.com
for electrical engineering jobs in Madison and the surrounding
region. This site is maintained as a service for electrical
engineers. Jobs are displayed starting with the most recent postings
first. You can filter results by location and job type. If you are
hiring an electrical engineer in our area, for full-time or contract
work, you can post the job in the Contact
on the WIEES.com site.
DLSEMC: New Medical
LearnEMC Short Courses
The IEEE-Madison Section has a number of volunteer positions open
if you are interested in helping out. Please direct any questions
or comments to Tom Kaminski (Newsletter Editor) via email to
The IEEE Madison Section Newsletter Published 9 times per year
(Jan-May, Sep-Dec) by the Madison, Wisconsin Section of the
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), for its
members in South-Central Wisconsin. Online at
http://ieee-msn.truenym.net/ For address changes: notify IEEE
headquarters at: http://www.ieee.org/ or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editorial or comments contact: Tom Kaminski <tjkaminski at
ieee.org>. Permission to copy without fee all or part of any
material without copyright notice is granted provided the copies
are not made or distributed for direct communication advantage,
and title of the publication and its date appear on each copy. To
copy material with a copyright notice requires specific
permission. Please direct all copyright-related inquiries or
requests to the IEEE Copyright Office. Thank you.