2010-2011

5th Annual IEEE Spark Party was Electric!

IEEE’s Spark Party, made possible by a generous donation of $2500 from Raytheon, was a huge success this past Thursday. Over 300 people enjoyed great food, fantastic ECE demonstrations by faculty and students, music by the always popular Professor Band, and the lighting of the Tesla Coils.

Jim McGrath from Raytheon presents a $2500 check to Prof. Emanuel and Karen Anundson, Co-President of IEEE

IEEE’s Spark Party, made possible by a generous donation of $2500 from Raytheon, was a huge success this past Thursday, November 11, 2010. Over 300 people enjoyed great food, fantastic ECE demonstrations by faculty and students, music by the always popular Professor Band, and the lighting of the Tesla Coils. Jim McGrath, Jim McGinley, and Mac Andrews, all of Raytheon, joined the crowd at the Spark Party. Jim McGinley, who received his MS from the ECE Department, gave an informative presentation on Raytheon’s Patriot Missile Project.

Karen Anundson and Christopher Kevorkian, Co- Presidents of ECE’s IEEE Student Chapter hosted the evening. The night began with a beautiful version of the National Anthem by Brenda McDonald Salvi, former ECE staff member. She then coaxed everyone into learning and then singing the WPI Alma Mater with great success. ECE Professors O’Rourke, Emanuel, Bitar, and Cyganski all gave interesting and informative demonstrations from Sparky Junior to Wireless Power to Electrostatics and the Biefeld-Brown Effect. Students John Depot, Kevin Harrington and Henrique Polido added to the evening with their presentations on projects they are working on.  ECE MS students Umair Khan and Tom MacDonald, also known as Fred Zeppelin, put on a show that had as many songs as it did costume changes. Tom MacDonald, ever the brave performer, began in a beautiful black strapless evening gown, moved onto a Lady Gaga inspired kilt, and ended in a simple black jacket reminiscent of Bono. All was in good fun with Umair on the guitar and Tom on vocals.

The hit of the night was ECE’s The Professor Band featuring professors John McNeill, Rick Brown, Andy Klein, and Bill Michalson. Although they begin the set by stating that, “This is Only a Test,” they got the crowd on their feet quickly with The Polecats Make a Circuit with Me. After songs from the White Stripes and David Bowie, an updated version of the Animals’ House of the Rising Sun brought down the house. The encore of the Dire Straits’ song Money for Nothing (I Want My MQP) had a true ECE twist.

To cap off the evening Chris Kevorkian fired up the Tesla Coils to a rousing round of applause. In 2006, IEEE celebrated the first WPI Spark Party to commemorate the 100 anniversary of Atwater Kent Laboratories. After the first year’s success, it has continued and is a fixture on the ECE calendar.

Professor Bitar
Professor O'Rourke
The Professor Band
Professor Michalson

November 15, 2010

 
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