Participant Bios

General Chair, Emily Sopensky

A business consultant by trade, Emily Sopensky is the sole proprietor of The Iris Company, a communication business. Her involvement with radio frequency identification began in 1996 with Texas Instruments (Dallas, Texas), where she was a consultant for six years with the RFID group (then called TIRIS). After 20 years in Central Texas, where she worked with technology companies, especially start-ups, she became the second IEEE-USA Fellow to the U.S. State Department, and relocated to Arlington, Virginia after the one-year fellowship.

Ms. Sopensky, a Senior Member of IEEE, is actively supporting The Institute in recognizing this emerging technology – guiding the first IEEE-wide juried conference to be held in 2007 in Dallas; supporting the new U.S. Senate RFID Caucus formed in July 2006, and other IEEE-related projects on RFID.

She led the IEEE-USA team that wrote the white paper on RFID (now available from IEEE-USA) and the position statement. She chairs the IEEE-USA Committee on Communications & Technology Policy.

Long an active member of IEEE, she has held numerous elected and appointed positions within the CenTex section, IEEE-USA, Intelligent Transportation Systems technical society and corporate board activities. Sopensky chairs the Awards Board Presentation and Publicity Committee. Other current IEEE roles include chairing one of six technology policy committees for IEEE-USA and managing the publications for an upcoming technical conference on transportation systems. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., she held the position of Section Treasurer and was active in membership development. In addition, she produced four 6-hour independent technical short courses on semiconductor research for the Electron Devices Society. Another conference she chaired was the Globalization and Technology Forum: A Dialogue on Policy Issues, held in Austin in 2003. Her activities with the Intelligent Transportation Systems Society begin with its origins as a committee in 1996. Since then, she has held numerous elected positions, including VP of Finance, VP of Publications, and Secretary, and has managed the publications for three of its major conferences.

General Vice Chair, Paul Hartmann

Paul is Vice President, Research and Engineering for RF SAW, Inc. He has over 30 years of experience in building and leading development teams and designing sophisticated electronic products that meet stringent cost and technical requirements.

Prior to joining RF SAW, Hartmann spent 13 years as the founding Vice President of Engineering and CTO of Applied Digital Access. He built the technical team and established the architecture of a family of products that are widely used throughout the public telecommunications network. His direct technical contributions included fifteen patents and other major contributions to the intellectual property of the company. Before joining Applied Digital Access, Hartmann served in a number of increasingly responsible roles at Collins Radio/Rockwell International in Richardson, Texas. During his 25 years at Collins/Rockwell, he served as the Director of Advanced Technology for the Telecom divisions in Richardson. He was also responsible for the design of long-haul analog microwave communications equipment. In the mid 1970s, he led the design team that developed the first successful 90Mb/s digital microwave radio system deployed in the United States.

Hartmann is a Senior Member of the IEEE and served on the Board of Governors of the Communications Society from 1998 to 2000. He was the Technical Program Chair of IEEE Globecom ’89, and is the Vice Chair of the Globecom/ICC Technical Committee (GITC) which is responsible for the strategic direction of the technical program for Globecom and ICC conferences. He has served as a guest editor of the IEEE Transactions on Communications and has authored numerous technical papers and magazine articles in IEEE and trade publications.

Hartmann holds a B.S.E.E. from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in Management and Administrative Science from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Program Chair, Dr. Daniel W. Engels

Associate Professor and Director, Texas Radio Frequency Innovation and Development Center, University of Texas at Arlington

Dr. Engels recently relocated to Arlington, Texas from Boston, Mass., where he was the director and founder of the MIT Healthcare Research Initiative (HRI), founded to use RFID technologies to improve patient safety. As MIT’s Director of Research for Auto-ID Labs at MIT, his primary areas of RFID research were in reader collision problems, UHF tag antenna designs, tools for RFID use, the EPC System, and the impact of RFID on Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance. He was the principle liaison to EPCglobal. As the supervisor/Auto-ID Center Director of Protocols, he lead the research and development of RFID standards, protocols for their use, and compliance and compatibility tests for systems developed to these standards. Lead the development of the Auto-ID Class 1 Generation 1 UHF and HF protocols.

Finance Chair, Bob Shapiro

Robert C. Shapiro, P.E. has an ASEET from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts in 1982, a BSEE from Texas Tech University in 1984, a BSBA from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1990 and an MBA from the University of Dallas in 1992. He has held numerous engineering and management positions in the area of wireless telecommunications since 1984.

In 1992 Robert created a telecommunications-consulting firm providing services such as RF engineering, systems design, testing and optimization, project management, radio site acquisition support, and switch/network planning, dimensioning, cutover and commissioning. Major clients included wireless and telephony companies such as Nortel, Sprint, Metricom, COM2000+, PCN Professionals, Telewest U.K., Sprint, GTE, RCC, Skytel, Pinpoint Communications, and Turnkey Wireless Solutions. He recently worked on several projects with client firms such as Omnipoint PCS GSM (Nortel), Sprint PCS CDMA (Nortel), Skytel 2-way Re-Flex, Ram Mobile Data (Bell South) 5 Ch. 900 MHz Wide Area Trunked System, CSW Services (RCC) 800 MHz Wide Area Trunked System and Pinpoint Communications AVL system.

Robert started his volunteer activities in 1986 with the Texas Tech University Electrical Engineering Ex – Student’s Association where he served as Secretary, Treasurer and President from 1986-1990. In 1997 he began his service with the Dallas Communications and Vehicular Technology Chapters of the IEEE, where he has contributed as the Membership Chair, Treasurer, and Chair and in his current role as Past Chair.

In 2002 and 2003 he served as the COMSOC Distinguished Lecture Tour Coordinator. He is currently the North American Director for the Communications Society and the IEEE Dallas Section Treasurer as well on the Executive Committee of the Globecom 2004 Conference in Dallas and the General Chair of the VTC 2005 fall conference in Dallas.

Robert has held his Professional Engineering Certification since 1990 and has also been a member of the Texas and National Society of Professional Engineers. He is on the Industrial Advisory Board of Mobile Radio Technology Magazine since 1995, a member of the Radio Club of America since 1994 and a member of the IEEE since 1981 and senior member this year. He has twelve articles published in plenary IEEE conferences as well as the MRT and ASNA/Naber magazines.

Local Arrangements Chair and Registrar, Merrily Hartmann

Merrily retired from SBC Communications, Inc. (formerly Southwestern Bell and now AT&T) in 2000 with 25 years service. Her tenure with the company included positions in Equipment Engineering, Network Planning, Long Range Technical Planning, Network Mechanization, Network Sales Support, Business Sales Support, Corporate Human Resources, and at retirement she was Executive Director of Global Markets Sales Support managing all sales operations for SBC’s 200 largest customers. Prior to joining Southwestern Bell, she started her career with Bell Telephone Laboratories (Indian Hill – Naperville, IL) as a Senior Technical Aide. She was a member of the 1AESS Processor Project and contributed to the programming and coding of the internal system maintenance processes.

Hartmann has been an IEEE member for 25 years and has served on numerous conference organizing committees: NTC ’82, Globecom ’86, Globecom ’89, Globecom ’93, Globecom 2001 and Globecom 2004. She currently is a member of the Globecom/ICC Management and Strategy (GIMS) Committee which is responsible for providing strategic guidance and management oversight of the Communications Society’s flagship conferences: ICC and Globecom.

Merrily received her Bachelor of Sciences degree in Mathematics and Computer Sciences from the University of Illinois.

Publicity Chair, Brian Fraser

Brian Fraser is a public relations executive with more than 25 years experience providing professional communication and effective positioning of large and small organizations using his knowledge and understanding of pioneering technologies, product/service portfolios, markets, media, customer relationships and business objectives. He is currently working with Dux PR, a Richardson, Texas PR & marcom company, and is also an associate of The Marketing Department, a Dallas firm.

He directed corporate and marketing communications programs at Bell-Northern Research, Bell Canada, Nortel, and GlobeRanger Corporation, companies with extensive R&D, technological innovation and industry-leading product development. For three years, he also successfully applied his writing talent and PR expertise for business associations (Metroplex Technology Business Council, Richardson Chamber of Commerce) and an economic development organization (Richardson Economic Development Partnership).

During his career, he has directed staff, agencies and external resources to execute dynamic internal and external programs that have contributed to the consistency, clarity and comprehension of the organization’s communications. His journalistic skills and media relations expertise enable him to develop and place important news articles, features, op-ed pieces, technology breakthroughs, product announcements, and customer case studies in key media.

A long-time supporter of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in both Canada and the U.S., Fraser has been publicity chair for four major IEEE conferences held in Dallas — the 1989 Global Telecommunications Conference (Globecom ’89), the first International Conference on Universal Personal Communications (ICUPC 92), the International Conference on Communications (ICC ’96), and Globecom 2004. To promote those conferences, he also attended IEEE conferences in San Francisco (Globecom ’88), Seattle (ICC 95), Singapore (Globecom 95), and Paris (ICC 2004).

His extensive knowledge of RFID technology, as well as supply chain, transportation/ distribution logistics and field force automation sectors, is built on his previous experience as Director of Marketing Communications for GlobeRanger, which designs, develops and distributes the Edgeware platform, iMotion, that enables RFID and sensor based devices to capture data anytime, anywhere and communicate it within a corporation in real-time for accelerated decision making. At the Metroplex Technology Business Council, Fraser orchestrated media relations for the MTBC’s RFID special interest group, 4th Friday RFID luncheon series and initial RFID Hub initiatives, and also demonstrated PR leadership as Publicity Chair for Globecom 2004, which had several RFID sessions.

He graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada with a Bachelor of Science in math & physics and a Bachelor of Journalism.

Publications Co-Chair, Brenda Huettner

Brenda Huettner is an independent technical communication consultant who specializes in increasing her client’s awareness of the benefits of quality documentation. Throughout her 20+ year career, she’s worked as a writer, editor, trainer, and manager, for both software and hardware companies

Brenda is a Senior Member of IEEE, sits on the Administrative Committee of the Professional Communication Society, and belongs to MTT. She’s also active in the local Tucson section. She has been honored with the designation of Fellow by the Society for Technical Communication, and belongs to the Usability Professionals Association and the Tucson Computer Society.

Brenda is co-owner and webmaster of, a growing Web-based resource for microwave engineers, and also runs several other smaller sites.

In addition to supporting the documentation needs of her clients, Brenda has published several books and articles, and presented half-day, full-day, and multi-day courses on writing, project management, usability, and career management.