Festival 2023 On-Demand Speakers

Looking for local STEM speakers? Curious about life in the day of an engineer?  Our on-demand speakers are a cross-section of San Diego Engineers in various professions at different stages in their careers. The videos are available for you to view today.  

Technology & Innovation

General Atomics Energy Group Overview

General Atomics's unique experience and capabilities continue to deliver safe, sustainable, economical, and innovative solutions to meet growing global demands.  Runtime: 3 Minutes

International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor - The Central Solenoid

This video provides a close up look at the design and fabrication of the  ITER central solenoid by General Atomics. The central solenoid will serve as the backbone of the ITER magnet system. The CS induces the majority of the magnetic flux change needed to initiate the plasma, generate the plasma current, and maintain this current during the fusion reaction. You will see how the CS is made of six independent coil packs that form a superconducting circuit, held together by a vertical pre-compression structure. Runtime: 6 minutes. General Atomics Energy Group Overview (3 min),  

General Atomics Fusion Pilot Plant

The General Atomics Fusion Pilot Plant (FPP) concept will deliver the next generation of sustainable energy. Fueled primarily by isotopes of hydrogen found in seawater and capable of generating its own fuel during operation, GA’s FPP would provide clean, safe, and firm energy without any harmful emissions. Runtime: 3-1/2 minutes

Behind the Scenes at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility

A look at the physicists, engineers and technicians behind the development and operation of the DIII-D National Fusion Facility at General Atomics. They discuss their roles, how they got involved with the facility and possible career paths for students. Background: The DIII-D is a product of fusion research at GA that evolved from tokamak designs with circular cross-sections to a “doublet" configuration with an elongated hourglass-shaped plasma cross-section.The Doublet I, II, and III tokamaks in the 1970s and 1980s showed that this approach allowed for a hotter and denser stable plasma. Further research led to a modification of Doublet III in the mid-1980s to DIII-D’s current D-shaped cross-section. Runtime: 5-1/2 minutes

Application of wireless power transfer in electric aircraft, railway, ships, and road vehicles

This presentation by Dr. Chris Mi shows us how wireless power transfer can be used to overcome the energy storage constraints of electric powered vehicles thereby extending their range and lowering their cost of operation with only a reasonable investment in wireless power infrastructure. Speaker: Chris Mi, Ph.D. is Director of the GATE Center for Electric Drive Transportation at San Diego State University

Fundamentals of Capacitive Wireless Power Transfer

This presentation describes the evolution of capacitive wireless power transfer from powering small electronic devises and appliances to powering automobiles. Techniques for overcoming the permeativity barrier to capacitive power transfer have been developed to take advantage of the physical simplicity and electromagnetic field properties of capacitive coupling comapred to inductive coupling. Spearker: Khurran Afridi, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University

Professional Development

Women in Engineering with Karen Islas

Karen Islas, PE, is a San Diego Civil Engineer and STEM advocate. In this Dec 21, 2022 "The Civil Engineering Podcast" and vlog hosted by Anthony Fasano, PE, founder of the Engineering Management Institute, Islas talks about how her involvement with professional organizations, STEM, and mentorship has helped grow her engineering career. Her pathway includes 10 years as a transportation engineer and volunteering. She is a member of PECG (Professional Engineers in CA Government). For more podcasts just like this one, visit https://engineeringmanagementinstitute.org/content/ 

Quality Engineering & A Day in the Life

An inside look at what the responsibilities of a Quality Engineer are, and a first hand look at a day in the life of an engineer. Speaker: Justina Sanchez is a Quality Engineer at TUV SUD America, with 18 years of experience in regulatory and compliance. Her background is in Electrical Engineering. She is one of San Diego Business Journals Top 50 Women in Engineering 2022.

Engineer and Historian Burt Dicht 

Burt Dicht is a Mechanical Engineer turned Historian. In this Nov 30, 2022 vlog hosted by Neil Thompson, founder of Teach the Geek, Dicht tells the story of his journey into politics and volunteer associations. His pathway includes over 10 years in aerospace engineering and 25 years of experience both volunteering and then working in ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). For more podcasts just like this one, visit podcast.teachthegeek.com 


Making a Difference: Volunteering with FIRST 

Volunteers have a choice in how to spend their time and finding a way to make a difference on your own terms, doing what you value, is worth a lot to those who have little time to spare. FIRST is a lifelong community to the people who volunteer and to those who participate as students. Those students become valued employees and ultimately volunteers (and parents) to new generations of engineers and technologists. Learn how you can join this adventure in technology and building community, no matter if you have just a few hours or are looking for something involving a deeper connection to this amazing organization! Speaker: Mary Isaac For more infomation about volunteering with FIRST, see FRC Volunteer Roles 

Engineering Majors at UC San Diego

Combining fundamental engineering and computer science skill sets can empower students to accomplish things they care about. It is a strategy for inspiring young people from absolutely all walks of life to pursue engineering and computer science degrees. A set of video introductions to our engineering and computer science majors at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering highlights some of the ways combined skill sets can drive relevance. Please share them with prospective students and families. Jacobs School News 

Spreading STEM Education with FIRST Robotics

Students participating in FIRST robotics develop skills in programming, computer aided design and collaborative teamwork while competing in annual robotics challenges. FIRST robotics rewards students that find creative ways to apply what they have learned for the benefit of their communities by including community service as an element of judged awards. This program structure has allowed teams like Mechanical Advantage to develop robust education programs that serve underprivileged communities in San Diego and abroad. This video will explore some of the programs developed by Mechanical Advantage to use FIRST robotics to provide STEM education opportunities. Speakers: Rohan Bosworth and Manjusri Gobiraj


All Roads Lead to Engineering: Define Success by Owning Your Journey

All of us begin our engineering careers at a different starting line. Some of us grew up with engineering role models within our family or community, while others are introduced to the field later in life – some are ready for the stress and strain of college from their first years in high school, while others walk into the first day hoping for the best. No matter where you start, a career in engineering is challenging but rewarding. In this talk, we will discuss the importance of celebrating different individual milestones and challenges, and techniques and relationships that helped us along the way. Speakers: Chelsea Ballinger and Lurvin Bernardez are systems engineers at Booz Allen Hamilton

Building Inclusivity with HeForSWE

Is there a place for men in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE)? Learn more about the role of male allyship and the importance of HeForSWE as an affinity group to promote inclusivity in the STEM community. HeForSWE empowers men to be advocates for women in engineering and tech and work with women to create an inclusive and diverse technology culture. Three San Diego teens share their struggles and the importance of increasing awareness of #HeForSWE in their community and how it can benefit women and other underrepresented aspiring engineers and computer scientists. Speakers; Madalyn Nguyen, Alyssa Wong and Reed Ganzer. For more information see: HeForSWE Affinity group 

STEM Book Authors

Get your signed copies of their books at the Festival's Book Author's table

es un libro dedicado a los jóvenes estudiantes que desean aprender más sobre el mundo de la tecnología a través de la codificación. Author: Athena Coco Hernandez, a local high school student. 

An adventure story for ages 9-11 to discover wireless communications. Author: Dr. Pamela Cosman, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCSD.  

 is a book for students on the STEM track and early-stage professionals. Video. Author: Jasmine L. Sadler,  founder of the STEAM Collaborative.

Visit our Recognitions page to see the amazing student competition winners!