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Testimonials and Mentor Pairings

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"I joined the mentoring program while conducting my PhD, which was a decision I would definitely make again, as my mentor, Fabiola Colone, has provided me with highly valuable advice for my professional career and personal progression. For example, in numerous meetings, for which Fabiola always spared time, she encouraged me with a keen eye for details to reflect progress and achievements. In turn this has increased my confidence in presenting, representing and as well to act targeted and goal-oriented. An important point for PhD students in general is the professional career after the PhD, and a supporting advice from experienced people is more than welcome. I benefited from Fabiola’s experience and overview of career opportunities. This has supported me in steering my professional career. Due to the valuable experience I would highly recommend to everyone to be part in the mentoring program.” –Philipp Wojaczek, Mentee


"One of the best decisions I made as an undergraduate student was getting a mentor. My mentor, Walt Downing, has provided me with invaluable advice and insight since I joined the program in 2015. This has been tremendously beneficial to my academic career in numerous ways. These benefits include accelerated professional/personal growth and expanded networks. Through positive encouragement, Walt has driven me to achieve the most out of leadership positions within IEEE AESS and IEEE HKN. Having a strong role model allowed me to reflect on my ideas and get second opinions before implementing those ideas. Being able to gain knowledge through the wisdom of Walt granted me a gentler approach to solving problems. In turn, I find myself more capable of taking on leadership roles with projects and events. Thanks to the AESS Mentoring and Networking Program, I have been able to gain more experiences that will translate directly into my engineering career. I would highly encourage anyone, student and professional alike, to take advantage of this benefit AESS membership offers.” –Garrett Hall, Mentee


"My name is Octavio Cabrera; I’m from Argentina and currently a doctoral candidate at the Balseiro Institute in Argentina. I would like to express what a great pleasure it has been to participate in the AESS Mentoring and Networking Program, where I have been a member for several months. I have been able to establish a solid level of communication with my mentor Dr. Pierfrancesco Lombardo, who has regularly provided excellent advice in both technical and professional areas. I have shared my work, my ideas, and my opinions, and through this communication I have often been able to find a clear path to follow. We have managed to maintain this contact despite great distances separating us, and nevertheless have been able to meet with them in Rome, where he works, and he has graciously given of his time to meet with me personally, enriching even more my learning experience. And now I find myself in Rome working in his research group on an innovative project that will be extremely useful to me as a learning experience. I would especially like to briefly express here that in my view this is not only about technical or professional development. Without any doubt I believe this opportunity has been a turning point in my life to discover diverse ways of approaching my work, and a huge personal motivation to continue moving forward. In the end, I believe that motivation is one of the key forces that moves us in the right direction to become better professionals, thus this is the word I choose to describe this program that has been and continues to be a great source of motivation for me!” –Octavio Cabrera, Mentee


"I have joined the AESS Professional Networking and Mentoring Program while working towards my PhD. Throughout my academic process I often encountered Prof. Antonio De Maio’s work and understood the added value he could give to my project. So when the time came to choose a Mentor, he was by first choice. During our collaboration, I was able to benefit not only from his technical abilities and vast body of work, but also from the dynamic approach that allowed me to look at my project from a different perspective. My mentoring experience has enabled me to brilliantly reach technical results that will be a very significant part of my PhD but it also allowed me to learn a lot from a networking point of view. All in all, it was one of my best choices.” –Francesca Filippini, Mentee


“The program has been working exceptionally well for me, Walt has been a great help for my success in managing and growing IEEE-HKN UTSA chapter that I was president of during this past academic year. It was great to have someone who has a managerial position with a background in engineering to advise me how to resolve problems since it is often difficult to find help in these areas since a person with this sort of experience is very difficult to find in academia. I have enjoyed being part of the program and it has taught me many things that I could've never learned on my own. I will be very happy to continue to be part of this program in the future.” –Andres Tapia, Mentee


“The program has been great so far, I have very much enjoyed my meetings with Dr. Baker. This program has given me an opportunity to discuss my PhD research ideas with Dr. Baker and receive his feedback on what direction I should take. Thank you again for organizing this program.” –Devin Spatz


“The program is working great. Prof. Martorella and I already had two Skype meetings and exchanged numerous emails. We decided to focus this relationship on 3D SAR imaging research, which is the main part of my PhD. Thanks to my mentor's knowledge and experience I was able to significantly increase the effectiveness of my research.” –Jędrzej Drozdowicz, Mentee


“Thanks a lot for your program, it has helped me a lot. I and Professor Antonio have been collaborating on a research about censoring outliers in radar data, and we discussed a lot on that topic. The research is proceeding well and I think there will be some good results.” –Sudan Han, Mentee

Successful Mentor / Mentee Pairings

Antonio De Maio Francessa Filippini
Antonio De Maio Sudan Han
Ben Slocumb Timothy Kennedy
Bhashyam Balaji Sanket Deshpande
Birsen Yazici Daryl Osterloh
Chris Baker Devin Spatz
Dale Blair Devin Smarra
Domenico Ciuonzo Haobo Li
Erik Blasch Pranav Bonigi
Ganesh Subramanian Aravind Sundaram
Ganesh Subramanian Tamil Selvan
Lorenzo Lo Monte Ricardo Beaussejour
Marco Martorella Jedrzej Drozdowicz
Mike Wicks Ethan Lin
Mike Wicks Hamdi Abdelbagi
Murat Efe Ilgaz Onur Tas
Paul Kostek Joseph Friel
Rob Ewing Evens Baptiste
Roy Streit Giovanni Miraglia
Shannon Blunt Marian Bica
Walt Downing Andres Tapia
Walt Downing Garrett Hall
Walter Rawle Inbarasan M.
Wolfgang Koch Prasanth R.


Field of Interest

“The field of interest shall be the organization, systems engineering, design, development, integration, and operation of complex systems for space, air, ocean, or ground environments. These systems include but are not limited to navigation, avionics, mobile electric power and electronics, radar, sonar, telemetry, military, law-enforcement, automatic test, simulators, and command and control."


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