NECEC has its 32nd Annual Conference at Memorial University
NECEC 2023 Celebrates Technological Advancements and Recognizes Outstanding Contributions in Electrical and Computer Engineering in Newfoundland and Labrador
Published: Nov 15, 2023 by IEEE Newfoundland and Labrador Section
The 32nd Annual Newfoundland Electrical and Computer Engineering Conference (NECEC 2023) happened on November 14, 2023, at the Emera Innovation Exchange Conference Centre, located in the Signal Hill Campus of Memorial University. Organized by the IEEE Newfoundland and Labrador Section in collaboration with Memorial University of Newfoundland, the conference provided a platform for professionals in electrical, electronic, and computer engineering, along with information technologies, to showcase their latest research and innovations to the province’s growing technical community.
Chaired by Kevin Murrant from the National Research Council Canada, this year’s conference focused on a range of technical concepts, innovations, and implementations within the field, covering topics such as Power and Alternative Energy, Computer Vision and AI, Circuits and Systems, Robotics and Control, and Other Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) subjects.
With the participation of over 100 attendees, NECEC 2023 featured a total of 49 oral presentations and 12 poster presentations. The event’s proceeds, along with those from past conferences, contribute to sponsoring IEEE Scholarships awarded to students in Terms 4 and 6 of the Electrical Engineering or Computer Engineering programs at Memorial University.
NECEC 2023 featured compelling keynote addresses from distinguished speakers, each bringing a unique perspective to the conference. In the morning session, Wenwen Pei, CEO and Co-Founder of Marine Thinking, delivered an enlightening talk titled “Navigating Forward: Unleashing Potential with Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs).” Pei, offering insights from a startup standpoint, delved into the transformative nature of Uncrewed Surface Vessels, showcasing their autonomy and eco-conscious design. The keynote highlighted key technologies, applications, achievements, challenges, and the projected trajectory of USVs. Fueled by cutting-edge technologies and a commitment to sustainability, USVs demonstrated remarkable adaptability, versatility, and the potential for autonomous efficiency through AI-driven decision-making algorithms and advanced sensor fusion.
At the luncheon session, Marie-Chantal Ross, Program Director of Ocean at the National Research Council Canada, took the stage with her talk titled “The Ocean: What is it? Why We Care? and What NRC is doing about it?” Ross shared insights into the NRC’s Ocean Program, a seven-year, multimillion-dollar initiative supporting Canada’s blue economy growth. Addressing Coastal Resilience, Intelligent Marine Assets, Pollution Remediation, and BioAssets, Ross emphasized the importance of supporting technologies and business models that contribute to a cleaner ocean and healthy economic activity. Her talk underscored the role of innovation in fostering a sustainable and prosperous blue recovery for Canada. Both keynotes provided valuable perspectives and expertise, enriching the NECEC 2023 experience.
During the conference, several outstanding individuals were recognized for their contributions:
Kusal Tennakoon received the Wally Read Best Student Paper Award for the paper titled “A Unified CNN Approach for Visual Place Recognition and Loop Closure Detection.”
Hamid Jafarzadeh received the Wally Read Best Young Professionals Paper Award for the paper entitled “A Country-wide Wetland Benchmark Dataset for Canadian Ecozones using Sentinel-2 Imagery.”
Murilo Silva received the T. David Collett Best Industry Paper Award for the paper titled “Magnetic Anomaly-Based Marine Mammal Detection in Challenging Ocean Environments.”
Zahra Jafari received the Women in Engineering Best Paper Award for the paper entitled “A Novel Feature Extraction and Selection Approach for Discrimination of Ships and Icebergs in SAR Imagery.”
Ahmed Talal Hashmat received the Byron Dawe Best Poster Award for the poster titled “DSP Based Digital Controller Design and Implementation for Energy Systems.”
The success of NECEC 2023 was made possible through the generous sponsorship of industry leaders, including Fortis Inc., World Energy GH2, Newfoundland & Labrador Hydro, Repair OnDemand, Solace Power, Verafin, Wood, Bell Alliant, C-CORE, The Electronic Centre, Newfoundland Power, and Professional Engineers and Geoscientists Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL). Special thanks also goes to the organizing committee of NECEC 2023: Kevin Murrant (Conference Chair, National Research Council Canada), Oscar De Silva (Technical Program Committee Chair, Memorial University), Samuel Robert Cove (Treasurer, Solace Power), Xianta Jiang (Secretary, Memorial University), David Green (Sponsorships Chair, C-CORE), Thumeera Wanasinghe (Awards Chair, Memorial University), Sarah Mansour and Rhonda Mercer (Local Arrangements, Memorial University), Jonathan Anderson (Student Branch Arrangements, Memorial University), Murilo Teixeira Silva (Website, C-CORE), Pedram Ghasemigoudarzi (Communications and Social Media, C-CORE)
NECEC 2023 marks another year of fruitful collaboration among professionals and researchers in electrical and computer engineering. The organizers extend their sincere appreciation to all participants, sponsors, and contributors who played a crucial role in its success. With optimism for the future, attention now turns to NECEC 2024, where the community will reconvene in November to explore the latest developments in the field. We look forward to another engaging and insightful edition in 2024!