IEEE Young Professionals for Climate Change Action Reception and Panel Discussion

Reception and Panel Discussion

IEEE Young Professionals for Climate Change Action

Organized by IEEE YP And IEEE WIE Oregon Section and Region-6 IEEE YP and IEEE WIE

Date: April 15th, 2024
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM (PST)
Menu: Cash Bar and Light Refreshments

Climate change presents one of the most pressing challenges of our time, demanding concerted efforts from individuals, organizations, and governments worldwide. In this context, harnessing the potential of young professionals is crucial for driving innovative solutions and catalyzing meaningful change.

Recognizing the significance of engaging young professionals in the fight against climate change, the IEEE Young Professionals program has emerged as a key player in fostering a sustainable future. The aim of the panel forum at the SusTech 2024 Conference is to highlight the pivotal role of IEEE Young Professionals in the realm of climate change, exploring their current contributions and outlining strategies for more proactive engagement.

This event would be of value to:

  • Graduate and undergraduate students, members of the IEEE Young Professionals community from diverse technical backgrounds, including engineering, computer science, environmental science, and related fields, would find value in participating. This audience brings fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the discussion.
  • Professionals working in industries related to energy, technology, sustainability, and environmental management can contribute their practical insights and experiences to the forum. Their expertise enriches the dialogue and provides real-world perspectives on implementing sustainable solutions.
  • Scholars and researchers specializing in climate science, renewable energy, sustainable development, and related fields can offer valuable insights into the latest trends, innovations, and best practices. Their research findings can inform discussions and inspire collaborative efforts.
  • Representatives from government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and advocacy groups involved in climate policy and environmental advocacy can provide insights into the policy landscape, regulatory frameworks, and advocacy strategies relevant to sustainable climate solutions.



Amritesh Rai – IEEE YP Oregon Affinity Group Chair – Intel

Speakers: (from IEEE Climate and Sustainability Taskforce (CTSF))

    1. Sajith Wijesuriya – Postdoctoral Researcher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Clean Energy Solutions Center (CESC), USA
    2. Sneha Hegde – Postdoctoral Researcher / R&D Engineer at Ecole Centrale Lyon and Kapteos, France
    3. Sukanya S Meher – Member of Technical Staff at Hypres Inc, NY, USA and IEEE YP CSTF Communications Lead
    4. Naznin Akter – Module Development Engineer, Intel Corporation, USA
    5. Prantik Saha – Clean Energy Consultant at Black & Veatch, USA
    6. Kayna Trujillo – IEEE Humanitarian Technologies Board / Materials Engineer & PhD Fellow, Northwestern University & Argonne National Laboratory, USA
    7. Cybele Ghanem – Support and Implementation Engineer, Invigo Offshore Lebanon

See Panelist’s Bios below.

Panel Agenda


Agenda Item


5 mins

Opening Remarks

Welcome participants, set the context for the discussion, and introduce the panelists and moderators.

10 mins

Introduction to CSTF

Brief presentation or overview of IEEE CSTF work, including Slido questions

35 mins

IEEE’s Role and Initiatives on Climate change and how the CSTF is contributing on that space

  • IEEE’s current contributions, standards, and initiatives in advancing sustainable computing globally. Panelists may also share their insights.
  • Role of IEEE CSTF in Climate Change
  • Panel Discussion on individual’s perspective

25 mins

Young Professionals Engagement

Discussion on how young professionals can actively participate and contribute to sustainability initiatives within the field.

5 mins

Closing Remarks

Summarize key takeaways, express gratitude to panelists and participants, and mention any follow-up actions or resources for further exploration.


Panelists Bios

Naznin Akter, Ph.D, PMP®, Module Development Engineer, Intel Corporation

Dr. Naznin Akter received her Ph.D. (2022) and MS (2020) degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Department of ECE at Florida International University (FIU), where she worked at INSYST Integrated Nanosystems Research Lab. She is currently working as a Module Development Engineer for Intel Corporation. She holds a Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI).

She is currently holding several leadership positions in IEEE. She is the Editor-in-Chief for the IEEE Photonics Society online newsroom. She is the Chair of IEEE Photonics Society Oregon Section chapter, Chair of IEEE Women-in-Engineering Oregon section AG, and Vice- Chair of the IEEE Young Professional Oregon section AG. She is the Student Activities Professional Coordinator for the IEEE-USA Career & Professional Development Center (CPDC) committee, R6 Experience specialist for IEEE YP Mentoring-Meet, and Vice-Chair of R6 IEEE Young Professional.

Apart from IEEE, she is the assistant VP of Marketing Communications at Project Management Institute Portland Chapter. She also served as the Treasure for the Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society.

Cybele Ghanem, Support and Implementation Engineer, Invigo Offshore Lebanon

Cybele Ghanem is a Computer and Telecommunications Engineer from the Lebanese University Faculty of Engineering II Roumieh, with a Research Masters degree in Telecommunications, Networking and Cyber security. She is currently part of the Operations Team at Invigo Offshore as a Support and Implementation Engineer.

Besides her professional experience, her interpersonal skills are highlighted in her volunteering work.

Cybele joined IEEE in 2016 and has been an active volunteer ever since. She joined the IEEE YP Climate and Sustainability Task Force in January 2023 and was appointed as a member in the Region 8 Climate Change Adhoc Committee. She is also leading the IEEE Computer Society Students and Young Professionals Climate and Sustainability Space.

Additionally, Cybele holds several positions in IEEE and was recently appointed as IEEE Day 2023-2024 Chair and IEEE Students Virtual Speakers Bureau 2024 Chair. She is also currently the Design and Social Media Lead for IEEEXtreme18.0 and Lead IEEE Puzzler Volunteer. She was also elected the Student Activities Representative of Lebanon Section, as well as the Treasurer of the IEEE Young Professionals Lebanon for 2023-2024.

Sneha Satish Hegde, Postdoctoral Researcher / R&D Engineer at Ecole Centrale Lyon and Kapteos.

Dr. Sneha Satish Hegde completed her doctoral studies in Electronics at the University of Montpellier, France. Her research project aligns with the Territorial Just Transition Plan and the Energy-Climate Plan in two key ways: First, by investigating the aging of components in future HVDC and MVDC energy networks, critical for renewable energy integration. Second, by studying eco-friendly insulation materials, it aims to reduce system size, enhance defect detection, and lower the carbon footprint in component manufacturing.

She has been a member of IEEE and DEIS, taking on the role of Chair for DEIS Women In Engineering (WIE) and Vice-Chair for DEIS Young Professionals (YP). Recently, she was appointed as the board member of DEIS AdCom. Additionally, she is the Vice-Chair for Communications for IEEE CS SYP and leads the Partnerships for the IEEE Young Professionals Climate and Sustainability Task Force (CSTF).

Sukanya S Meher, Member of Technical Staff , Hypres and IEEE YP CSTF Communications Lead

Ms. Sukanya S Meher is a Member of Technical Staff at Hypres Inc, NY. In her role, she focuses on the design and development of energy efficient superconductor electronic circuits with diverse applications in digital signal processing, sensors, computing, and communication systems. She earned her Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, NY, in 2016. Sukanya’s proficiency spans circuit design, modeling, simulation, tool development, and testing of superconductor chips under cryogenic conditions. Sukanya’s passion lies in contributing to sustainable and energy-efficient computing solutions.

Sukanya is actively involved with the IEEE Young Professionals Climate and Sustainability Taskforce (CSTF) by supporting the team in various events as Communications Lead. She recently played a key role in orchestrating a Young Professionals Dialogue Session with the UNFCCC during New York Climate Week. Additionally, Sukanya serves as a committee member of the IEEE Young Professionals Council on Superconductivity (CSC). Her commitment extends to volunteering for and the Grace Hopper Celebration, and advocating for empowerment of women in technology.

Dr. Prantik Saha, Clean Energy Consultant at Black & Veatch, member IEEE YP CSTF Dr. Prantik Saha is a senior consultant at Black & Veatch and works as an advisor for clean energy projects. He is an expert on low-carbon hydrogen and fuels, energy storage systems (lithium-ion and beyond), and carbon capture, storage, and utilization technologies. With 6+ years of experience in technology development (R&D), he acts as a subject matter expert for these technologies and uses it to help clients achieve their decarbonization goals. He assists Black & Veatch clients with conceptual project design, early-stage project engineering designs, feasibility analysis, technical due diligence, independent technology assessment (bankability), resource planning, and strategic advisory services.

He got Ph.D. in Applied Physics from UC Irvine, USA, where he developed electrochemical clean energy conversion systems.  He volunteers for the Climate & Sustainability Taskforce at Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) with technologies that are in his domain of expertise.

Kayna Mendoza Trujillo, Materials Engineer & PhD Fellow, Northwestern University & Argonne National Laboratory

Kayna Trujillo has an academic and professional background in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering alongside 3 years of industry experience in the aerospace sector. She has since transitioned to research in nanomagnetism for energy efficient computing at Argonne National Laboratory.

Kayna is a member and active volunteer of the Microscopy Society Student Council as Regional Liaison, IEEE Young Professionals Community Climate and Sustainability Task Force (CSTF) as well as the Humanitarian Technologies Board (HTB). She is focused on contributing to spaces that uplift students’ voices and those that bridge technology and policy.

Sajith Wijesuriya, Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the US. Clean Energy Ministerial. Sajith Wijesuriya obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (Thermal Sciences) from the Colorado School of Mines in the USA. He works as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the United States and supports Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) workstreams Clean Energy Solutions Center (CESC). NICE Future, and 21 CPP.  His core research areas are Thermal Energy Storage (TES), building energy sciences, grid-responsive buildings and grid interaction modeling.

This is his 4th year with IEEE with a focus on interfacing IEEE with United Nations mechanisms. He has worked at the technology interfaces (SPI-MGCY), climate (UNFCCC TEC Task Force, YOUNGO), and development agendas (SDG7 Youth Constituency, CED Sri Lanka) spaces for the last decade. He also founded the organization Science Policy Circle which is accredited to the UNCCD process. He will be coming into the IEEE YP global task force as the Chair of the Climate and Sustainability Task Force.



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