Curtin Malaysia academic wins IEEE MGA Young Professionals Achievement Award

Miri – 1 December 2021 – Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia), Dr. Saaveethya Sivakumar, is the proud recipient of the IEEE MGA Young Professionals Achievement Award 2021.

The award is presented annually by IEEE Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) for significant contributions and achievements of individuals and teams in the development and completion of activities and projects aligned towards IEEE Young Professionals goals and objectives. It is the highest global award by IEEE under the Young Professionals category.

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is the world’s largest technical professional organisation with more than 400,000 members in more than 160 countries dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Any IEEE member who has graduated from their first degree in the past 15 years is automatically included to be a part of the IEEE Young Professionals.

Dr. Saaveethya, who is Chair of the IEEE Region 10 (Asia-Pacific) Young Professionals Committee, was awarded for her exemplary efforts and leadership towards enhancing member benefits for young professionals and promoting student-to-young professionals transitions.

Her achievements include enhancing member engagement and growing membership, strengthening collaboration with and among IEEE organisational units and external organisations, and helping raise the operational efficiency and effectiveness of IEEE MAG. In addition, she actively promotes the relevance of IEEE membership to industry, and diversity and inclusion within IEEE Young Professionals.

Dr. Saaveethya was actively involved in numerous IEEE Young Professionals events, including the inaugural IEEE R10 Young Professionals Sparklers Summit, the first IEEE Region 10 Career Leadership Aid Program, IEEE R10Talk Webinar Series, R10 Young Professionals Training Modules, IEEE Region 10 Revol Program, and 2020 IEEE Region 10 SYWL Congress student track.

She was also involved in IEEE R10 funding programmes supporting local sections and organisational units, drafting of the first IEEE R10 SAC and SSR Operations Manual, and implementation of the R10 Young Professionals Ambassador Program.

Dr. Saaveethya said she was honoured to receive the prestigious award and credited the support and encouragement of her nominator and 2019 – 2020 IEEE Region 10 Secretary, Professor Takako Hashimoto, and her endorsers, Professor Akinori Nishihara (2019-2020 IEEE Region 10 Director) and Simay Akar (Vice-chair of MGA Student Activities Committee and Young Professionals) – for her success.

“My success has also been largely due to the continued support of IEEE Region 10, the IEEE Student Activities Committee, IEEE Young Professionals Committee and my team members. They have been very supportive of my initiatives, especially in student-to-young professional transitions,” said Dr. Saaveethya.

She related that she started her IEEE journey nine years ago as an IEEE student member at Curtin Malaysia and it is a fitting tribute to both herself and the university to be given IEEE’s highest global award under the Young Professionals category upon her return to Curtin Malaysia as an academic.

As a student, she was chair of the IEEE Curtin University Malaysia Student Branch, and under her leadership, the student branch organised over a hundred technical, professional, social and community centric initiatives. As a result, it won IEEE’s Exemplary Student Branch Award for 2014, making it the first student branch in the IEEE Malaysia Section to receive the international award.

In her new role as a lecturer and researcher in Curtin Malaysia’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Saaveethya develops STEM skills among students at their early learning stages, provides interactive learning, and engages in collaborative research. Her research focus lies in the areas of machine learning, signal processing, image processing, gait analysis, biomechanics and biomedical engineering. Her aim is to improve the wellbeing of society through research in the field of healthcare technology.

In addition, she coordinates the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s industry and external relations, including internship opportunities for undergraduate students.

As the IEEE R10 Young Professionals Committee chair, Dr. Saaveethya leads the Young Professionals programme within Region 10, and acts as the bridge between MGA Young Professionals and Region 10 Young Professionals, overseeing over 40 Young Professionals affinity groups spread across the Asia Pacific region. She also happens to be the first female chair leading the IEEE Region 10 Young Professionals Program.

Meanwhile, as the MGA SAC Student to Young Professionals Transitions Committee chair, Dr. Saaveethya and her team works towards enhancing student-to-young professionals transitions and related initiatives on a global level.

“Volunteering with a global professional organisation like IEEE has provided me with lots of opportunities, especially in respect to leadership and professional development on an international level. The experience has been immensely rewarding,” said Dr. Saaveethya.

IEEE MGA Young Professionals Achievement Award 2021 winner Dr. Saaveethya Sivakumar.