UC Santa Cruz engineering dean Steve Kang elected to head Silicon Valley Engineering Council

Steve Kang, dean of the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz, was elected president of the Silicon Valley Engineering Council in June. Associate Dean Joel Ferguson was elected to serve as one of the organization's four directors.

The Silicon Valley Engineering Council (SVEC) is an alliance of engineering leaders in Silicon Valley. Founded in 1989 as a nonprofit educational organization, the council brings together several local engineering and technical societies, coordinating activities and assisting communications to better serve its members and the community. Ferguson, for example, represents the local chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on the council.

In addition to promoting professional activities among the engineering societies, the SVEC is involved in educational activities and programs in local schools.

"It is important to help educate young children about the values and excitement of being an engineer," Kang said. "The SVEC also recognizes people who have made outstanding contributions to Silicon Valley industry with its Hall of Fame awards. The Hall of Famers can be role models for the younger generation of engineers and scientists."

Kang said he decided to get involved in SVEC in part to increase UCSC's presence in Silicon Valley and raise the profile of the campus's five-year-old engineering school.

"As dean of a young engineering school, I saw the need for more outreach and the opportunity to provide more services to the engineering community in Silicon Valley," he said.

The goals of the SVEC include sponsoring and promoting educational activities and programs; promoting the career development of engineers and other technical professionals; and promoting public service by the engineering and technical societies and their members. The organization's outreach programs include Discover "E," a nationwide program to expose elementary school and junior and senior high school students to engineering and cultivate their interest in math, science, and engineering. The SVEC has coordinated the Discover "E" effort in the South Bay area since 1992.