October 31st 2017 Kuala Lumpur; The IEEE CASS Society Malaysia Chapter (IEEE CASS M) has successfully hosted the IEEE Women in Circuits and Systems 2017 (WiCAS2017) program at Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The WiCAS2017 is the second special program on Women in Circuits and Systems (WiCAS) held in Malaysia. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nurul Amziah Md Yunus from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) who is the general chair of 2017 IEEE Asia Pacific Conference on Postgraduate Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (PrimeAsia 2017) and also the past chair of the IEEE CASS M (2015-2016) had proposed the WiCAS program to IEEE Circuits and Systems Society early this year. In April 2017, the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society has highly supported the proposal under the 2017 CAS Membership Outreach Project or CAS Outreach Initiative 2017 fund.

WiCAS2017 was then conducted in conjunction with PrimeAsia 2017. The program was held on 31st October 2017 a day before the PrimeAsia 2017. The PrimeAsia 2017 was held on the following two days, the 1st and 2nd November 2017. The IEEE CAS Society Malaysia Chapter took the opportunity to promote engineering works carried out by women, young professionals and postgraduate students by encouraging them to join WiCAS2017. The program was mainly for all IEEE members/CAS members/Young Professionals/postgraduates who are interested in advancing women in engineering and technology.

In detail, 55 participants from all over the world have participated in the program. The three guest speakers of WiCAS2017 in the morning session and five professionals in the afternoon forum session are from the academia and industry. They have shared their latest ideas to shift daily engineering career routines and work systems to be more significant and meaningful. Dr. Haslina Jaafar from Universiti Putra Malaysia is the 2017 IEEE CASS M hon. secretary and she was the Program Chair of WiCAS2017. Apart from Dr. Haslina, the organizing committee members of the program are Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nurul Amziah Md Yunus, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jasronita Jasni and Dr. Ribhan Zafira Abdul Rahman.

The first morning session started with Dr. Wang Yi, one of the IEEE CAS Singapore Chapter executive committee members from Singapore with her talk entitled ‘Introduction to Side Channel attacks’. Dr. Wang Yi is a senior member of the IEEE and a program committee member for ASP-DAC, FPT and WESS in the fields of embedded security and FPGAs. Then followed by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nasreen Badruddin from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP), the Chair of IEEE Malaysia WIE Affinity Group, Malaysia Section, presenting her affinity group’s goal about ‘Encouraging Girls To Pursue Engineering’. Nasreen Badruddin is currently an Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP). The next talk was on ‘Engineering – A Wonderful Career For Women’ given by Ms. Ng Shoak Pheng from Intel Corporation, who is the Engineering Manager in Internet of Things Group at Intel Corporation, Malaysia. Ms Ng started her career with Intel 14 years ago after graduated from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) with Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Electrical Telecommunication. Prior to her current role in software domain, she has had 10 years experience in product development engineering.

Before lunch break, WiCAS2017 had announced the Young Female Leader Professional Development Award, in recognition of outstanding professionalism, high expectations, fine leadership and extraordinary determination. The award was conferred to Dr. Noor Ain Kamsani from Universiti Putra Malaysia also an IEEE CAS member.

The WiCAS2017 event continued in the afternoon with a forum on WiCAS2017 theme, ‘Engineering a Career for Women: Making a Difference of the Future’. This forum was held for the first time as a meeting for WiCAS participants to make a difference of their future with engineering as their career. The five iron ladies consist of four forum panelists, Prof. Dr. Sevia Mahdaliza Idrus (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, UTM), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Samsuzana Abd Aziz (Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM), Prof. Ir. Dr. Fatimah Ibrahim (Universiti Malaya, UM), Ms. Noor Azian Abd Wahab (National Instruments, NI Penang) and one moderator Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zuhaina Zakaria (Universiti Teknologi Mara, UiTM). They are the best well appointed to talk about the challenges they faced despite engineering being a male dominated field. They talked about the need to make the initiatives that are available to young women and young generation engineers in the developing world which are mainly the concerns echoed on engineering a career for women. The talk was also in two-way interaction where they have ensured the high quality of presentation and discussion during the forum. Thus, uniquely in this year WiCAS2017 has shown the importance of having the special forum session. The forum was aimed to have young professionals and postgraduate students listen to experts in career development, engineering profession, innovation, engineering with management, entrepreneurship and not to forget impact on family and social life.

Finally, the aim of WiCAS2017 was successfully achieved in providing an environment for early-career-stage researchers where they could discuss and share about their engineering career and expectation on future prospective in career and life. The one-day WiCAS2017 program has ultimately offered everything that suited the theme of the program, “Engineering a Career for Women: Making a Difference of the Future”. Feedback from this program was extremely positive and further details of this program could be obtained on the IEEE CASS Malaysia website http://cas.ieeemy.org.