IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

About SAC

Current Leadership

Lauren Miller

Student Activities Chair
Student Administrative Committee Member
Northwestern University 
Evanston (IL), United States
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Arash Ajoudani

Arash Ajoudani
Student Activities Co-Chair
The Italian Institute of Technology
University of Pisa
Genova, Italy
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Jory Denny

Jory Deny
Student Activities Co-Chair
Texas A&M University
College Station (TX),
United States 
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Patrick Wensing

Pat Wensing
Student Activities Co-Chair
The Ohio State University
Columbus (OH), United States
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Past Leadership

Laura Margheri (chair) 2012-2013
Patrick Wensing (co-chair) 2012
Douwe Dresscher (co-chair) 2012
Tamas Haidegger (chair) 2010-2011
Alejandro Perez (co-chair) 2010, 2011
Marcelo L. Moreyra (co-chair) 2011
Michel Franken (co-chair) 2010
Carol Reiley (chair) 2008-2009
Junjie 'Jonjay' Zhang, Shogo Okamoto (co-chairs) 2009
Elena Gribovskaya, Phil Roan (co-chairs) 2008
Surya Singh 2006-2008 (first chair)


The SAC is responsible for organizing and managing activities, promotions, and competitions to recruit students and keep members active. As part of the Member Activities Board, the SAC consists of a chair who serves a two year position and three co-chairs who serve one year positions.

The main role of SAC is to provide students with opportunities to advance their careers and improve their professional experience. In order to support students’ training, careers, and professional relationships, we believe that facilitating active networking, interdisciplinary dialogue, and robotics education at all levels are fundamental goals for the Committee to work towards. To achieve these goals, the SAC organizes events to give students the chance to find high quality information, as well as to find the best places where robotics innovators and scientists meet to exchange their knowledge and experience.

The SAC puts on a set of activities especially during ICRA and IROS, the two annual flagship conferences of the Robotics and Automation Society. Students activities promoted by RAS are organized during CASE and BioRob too. By participating in these events, students have the opportunity to network with innovators, possible future mentors, colleagues, and friends.

Since robotics is more and more becoming an interdisciplinary science, involving medicine, biology, neuroscience, ethics, psychology, and many more, SAC encourages the collaboration between RAS students and IEEE Societies in other fields in order to increase opportunities for future cooperative projects and research groups, paving the path for breakthrough ideas and technological innovation. Promotion, education, and training for robotics are carried out for students at different ages. International events, Summer Schools, and media are used as fundamental ways to energize interest and knowledge in robotics. Furthermore, PhD students, undergraduates and younger children are involved in a range of activities with different robotics initiatives. Student branches and chapters are encouraged and supported by our committee and provide a local presence to promote careers, to create networks, and coordinate member events.

The Student Activities Committee of the Robotics & Automation Society represents an exclusive resource for your career and knowledge. It offers occasions to meet and interact with leaders of academia and industry, and we may help to find chances for mobility, jobs, internships, and financial support.

Upcoming Events

Stay tuned!

Past Events

IROS 2014 RAS Student Activities Committee Meeting

  • Tuesday, Sept. 16th: 1:30-3:00 PM
  • The Kimball Room, Palmer House Hilton

Stop by to learn about what the SAC is working on and how to get involved.

Student lounge & coffee break

  • Tuesday, Sept. 16th and Wed., Sept. 17th, 9:00 AM -12:00 PM
  • The Logan Room, Palmer House Hilton

Come by If you need a place to unload between sessions or do some last minute preparations. There will be internet and a projector/screen available, coffee, and light snacks. Members of the SAC will be around if you have questions.

IROS 2014 Lunch with leaders (LwL)

  • Wednesday, Sept. 17th: 12:10-1:10 PM
  • Crystal Room, Palmer House Hilton

LwL is an opportunity for students to network with RAS leaders and get advice on their career and research. Advanced registration required ($5.00).

Social Event: Student Networking at Public House

  • Wednesday, Sept. 17th: 9:00 PM-12:00 AM
  • Public House

Come out after the farewell party to meet fellow students over drinks and snacks. We’ve reserved a space and your first drink and some bar snacks are on us, followed by a cash bar (and drink specials). There a many bars and restaurants nearby to explore afterwards. Bring cash if you plan on drinking.

Social Event: Adler After Dark: “Hops n’ Bots”

  • Thursday, Sept. 18th: 6:00-10:00 PM
  • Adler Planetarium

Open access to the Planetarium, unlimited shows, great views of the Chicago skyline, multiple bars with local craft beers (7 free samples included!), a band, and robots. Admission will be free for up to 50 conference attendees with valid student ID. Tickets can be picked up at the IROS/VIP desk near the entrance.

CASE 2014 Lunch with Leaders

  • Thursday, August 21, 12:00-13:00
  • Arcadia Cafe, Fullon Hotel Danshui Fishermen's Wharf

The SAC is organizing an event to meet and interact with community leaders. This event will offer multiple perspectives from leaders of the RAS and will included open-ended discussions about what it takes to be a leader in our profession. Leadres inlude (in alphabetic order)

Prof. Fan-Tien Cheng
Prof. Ken Goldberg
Prof. Bengt Lennartson
Prof. Peter Luh
Prof. John T. Wen

ICRA 2014 SAC meeting

  • June, 3, 13:30 - 15:00
  • Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Room G311

Please join us at the SAC meeting this coming ICRA to learn about volunteer opportunities available within the group! No advance registration required.

ICRA 2014 Lunch with Leaders

  • Tuesday, June 3, 12:30-13:30
  • Hong Kong Convention Center, Room G311 on L3

The SAC is organizing an event to meet and interact with community leaders. This event will offer multiple perspectives from leaders of the RAS and will included open-ended discussions about what it takes to be a leader in our profession. Here is a list of our invited leaders, covering vast areas in the field of robotics (in alphabetic order):

Prof. Antonio Bicchi  
Prof. Bill Hamel
Prof. Raja Chatila
Prof. Ron Lumia
Prof. Anthony Maciejewski
Prof. Raj Madhavan
Prof. Paul Oh
Prof. David Orin
Prof. Satoshi Tadokoro
Prof. Ning Xi
Prof. Jing Xiao

At this time, the Lunch with Leaders event is full. We look forward to seeing you all at ICRA!

ICRA 2014 Student Networking Event

  • Monday, June 2nd:  20:00-23:00  
  • Typhoon, 37-39 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Drop by Typhoon bar in Wanchai after the first day of the conference to meet fellow students over drinks and snacks. 

ICRA 2014 Farewell Night Out

  •  Thursday, June 5th: 21:00-24:00
  •  Bassment, 3 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong

After the farewell dinner, meet at Bassment bar between 21:00 and 22:00 for an organized tour of nightlife in the Lan Kwai Fong area.


Student News and Announcements

Have news to share? We're more than happy to share it with the student community. Let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can also follow the latest news and announcements on the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's Facebook group page.

Call for Student Video Contest Submissions

Do you have a cool robotic idea or application you want to show off? The IEEE RAS SAC wants you to make a creative video to show your robotics skills! Enter a video of your creation, showing robotics, and the winner’s video will be displayed at ICRA 2015 and posted on the IEEE RAS SAC website. Additionally, cash prizes will be given to the top three winners.


  • Video entries may be of any medium, sketch, cartoon, real life, etc. Videos must be appropriate in nature for all ages, more specifically the video could be educational, highlight some concept or theoretical idea, or show off an application, or be creative in your own way. Videos will have a maximum length of 1 minute.
  • Videos must be created by students or groups of students.
  • IEEE RAS SAC chair and co-chairs will decide the winner - all decisions are final.

Contest winner will receive the following prizes:

  • 1st Place - $300, video posted on IEEE RAS SAC Websites and presented at ICRA 2015
  • 2nd Place - $150
  • 3rd Place - $50

Entries should be placed on and a link sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The entry’s title should begin with “RAS SAC Video Contest Submission:” followed by your title. A 1-2 sentence description should be provided with the video on YouTube.

Entries are due May 1st, 2015 at 00:00 PST (midnight) and Contest winners will be announced before the start of ICRA ‘15


Current News

Announcing the Winner of our Logo Contest

The SAC is pleased to announce the winner of our logo contest, Santiago Morante! We narrowed the submissions down to five (which wasn't easy), and put the vote out publicly. We received about 100 votes in total, and it was quite a close race with so many great submissions. The winning design, as well as the second and third place winners, are shown below. Thank you all so much for taking the time to participate.

This was our first time running this sort of competition, so if you have any feedback for us on running the contest, voting, etc., please let us know.

SAC-Logo SAC-Logo-2nd SAC-Logo-3rd

Get Involved

Thanks for your interest in getting involved with the SAC! Please see the sections below for information on Current Volunteer Opportunities or General SAC Involvement.

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Call for Student Activities Committee (SAC) Co-Chair

The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society is seeking applications for the position of co-chair on the board of the Society’s Student Activities Committee (SAC). The co-chair will serve for one calendar year (2015), and will serve with the SAC Chair and two other co-chairs.

The IEEE-RAS Student Activities Committee promotes student participation in the Society activities in cooperation with all Society Boards, Committees and Working Groups, under the supervision of the Membership Activities Board (MAB). The mission of the committee includes working on issues of interest to student members and interacting with student members and student chapter branches.

Current areas of focus include:

  • IEEE RAS Facebook group management
  • Lunch with Leaders held at flagship conferences (ICRA, CASE, IROS)
  • Informal and social events at RAS sponsored conferences
  • Educational webinars
  • Membership development
  • SAC Website content
  • Coordination with student branch chapter chairs
  • Newsletter
  • SAC column in IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine (quarterly publication)

The board members of SAC are appointed by the RAS President from a slate of candidates approved by the Membership Activities Board. Candidates may be undergraduate or graduate students, but must be student members of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society in good standing. The ideal candidate has strong social and professional skills, willing to take part in the ongoing activities and having proposals for new initiatives. Past participation in SAC is requested but not required. There is no geographical preference.

The co-chair is encouraged to attend the the ICRA and IROS conferences.* Partial travel support is provided by the Society (up to $500 for the co-chair).

If you wish to be considered, please send the following information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 30 January 2015.

  • A letter indicating why you are interested in serving on the SAC board (1 page maximum)
  • A copy of your CV or resume (2 pages maximum)
  • A letter of support from a faculty member at your college or university, who is a member of IEEE RAS.

For any questions, email Lauren Miller, 2014-2015 SAC Chair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

*Meeting dates and locations are as follows:
- ICRA 2015 Seattle, Washington, USA
- IROS 2015 Hamburg, Germany

General SAC Involvement

Join Our Google Group

Interested to volunteer with the Student Activities Committee? Our Google Group is a common area for SAC volunteers to communicate ideas and work together towards our SAC initiatives.

Join our Google Group!

After joining our Google Group, let us know what you are interested to help with by filling out the form below

SAC Involvement Form

Propose an Initiative

We’re looking to start a few new programs for students and we’d love to get your feedback on some of our ideas, and hear any ideas you may have! What do you think the SAC could provide to members at conferences or in general to help students with networking, making connections, getting access to resources and information, etc.?

Please let us know though our shared New SAC Initiatives Google Doc.

As a general guideline, the more specific you can be,the better for helping us get an idea of what you’re looking for. Let us know why a particular program would be helpful, how you’d envision implementing, etc. Soon, we’ll be asking for volunteers to work with us and possible take charge of different projects.

Volunteer at an RAS conferences

RAS conferences are the largest centers of IEEE RAS events. These conferences present the greatest opportunity for our student community to come together and network. If you are interested to volunteer at one of these conferences, please get in touch through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In particular, we can always use help from local students to coordinate

  • Lab tours.
  • City tours.
  • Student lunches/dinners.
  • Or any other exciting local opportunities. These conferences offer a unique opportunity to experience other cultures!

IEEE RAS Membership

Not am IEEE RAS member yet? - no problem, join NOW!

IEEE is the world's largest professional association providing access to the industry's most essential technical information, networking opportunities, career development tools and many other exclusive benefits to its members. Learn more about these here.

The Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) is interested in both applied and theoretical issues in robotics and automation. The Robotics and Automation Magazine and the Transactions on Robotics are the highest ranked journals in the field. We do not need to introduce the flagship conferences of the RAS: ICRA and IROS, both providing significant discounts to members.

We are particularly inviting you to join the RAS Student Committee, to be part of a great experience: having fun while acquiring new knowledge and developing your career.  Below, you can see the variety of programs we are preparing for our colleagues . You are welcome to join! All in all, IEEE requires a very modest membership fee from students compared to the direct and indirect benefits.

Join today!



Student Activities

Want more information on how to participate or volunteer with the SAC?


  • News and Announcements

    Have news to share? Share it with the student community! Let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Follow the latest news and announcements on the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's Facebook group page.

    Latest News