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Camosun Electronics and Computer Engineering instructor Joyce van de Vegte has been awarded third prize in a world-wide electrotechnology challenge.

Her paper Bridging the divide with a three-way handshake claimed the prestigious IEC-IEEE award, October 5 in Oslo, Norway.

IEC, the International Electrotechnical Commission, is the world’s leading organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is a global, technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.

The annual IEC-IEEE competition aims to stimulate international discussion on the role technology plays in social, environmental and political development and how universal standards influence this process.

Joyce van de Vegte’s paper focuses on the premise that historical differences in the access to personal computers have triggered a “digital divide” between those who benefit from the Internet and those who do not. “The divide encompasses many dimensions – economy, education, health, information – and has tangible effects on human development. The adoption of global Internet standards based on TCP/IP helped narrow the digital divide, and the author demonstrates how developing Internet standards help to bridge other divides as well, improving equity in the economy, education, health, and communication,” she states.

van de Vegte asserts that, “The benefits of the Internet are still unavailable to many due to language barriers, and that translation will be the next frontier. Robust standards for translations between pairs of languages could produce a seamlessly international Internet, preserving diverse cultural content while offering an increasingly level playing field to all.”

First place went to Ken Krechmer of the University of Colorado for his publication on Cloud computing standardization. Second prize went to Axel Mangelsdorf of the BAM Federal Institute of Materials Research and Testing in Berlin, Germany, for his paper on The benefits of standards and standardization in the German electrical and electronic industry.

“On behalf of Camosun College, we congratulate Joyce on her vision, creativity and extraordinary achievement and thank her for bringing Camosun College’s technology expertise to the international stage,” says Eric Sehn, dean of Camosun’s School of Trades and Technology.

Joyce van de Vegte holds an M.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and teaches renewable energy, digital signal processing and system dynamics at Camosun College. She is passionate about attracting non-traditional learners to the world of electronics and has already pioneered two engaging workshop series targeting young women and Aboriginal youth. Her annual Taste of Electronics event introduces grade 10 girls to the excitement and the career opportunities of technology. Her Digital Music Math project uses music to teach math concepts to Aboriginal youth. In 1992 Joyce was shortlisted by the Canadian Space agency, and was one of 14 final applicants, only two of whom were women – Joyce and Julie Payette.


Joyce van de Vegte
Instructor, Electronics and Computer Engineering
Camosun College

Last updated: February 20, 2013 3:38 pm

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