IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

About SAC

The Student Activities Committee of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (“SAC”) was formed in 2006 as an initiative by the Robotics and Automation Society AdCom to represent the students' voices. As part of the Member Activities Board, the SAC consists of a chair who serves a two year term and two co-chairs who serve one year terms. The goal of the SAC is to represent students in robotics worldwide.

The SAC is responsible for organizing and managing activities, promotions, and competitions to recruit students and keep members active. The SAC provides 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 toward which the Committee should work. To achieve these goals, 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 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 find chances for mobility, jobs, internships, and financial support.

Current Projects

Student Activities at RAS Conferences

One of the major efforts of the SAC is organizing events and activities during the RAS flagship conferences. These events give students the opportunity to network with their peers, interact with leaders in our field, and have fun. The SAC organizes Lunch with Leaders events at ICRA, IROS, and CASE, which provide students with the opportunity to sit down with RAS and industry leaders. The SAC has also been organizing several new conference events, including coffee breaks where students can unload or work between sessions with access to Wi-Fi, coffee, and snacks, as well as social and networking opportunities just for students. If you have ideas for additional events for students at conferences or would like to organize an event, please send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Student Volunteers to RAS Boards

The SAC is actively working on getting more students involved in the Society. We are in the first few months of a new initiative in partnership with several of the RAS governing boards. More than a dozen student volunteers have recently started working directly with several boards, including the Industrial Activities Board, the Publications Activities Board, the Conference Activities Board, the Conference Editorial Board, and the Transactions on Automatic Science and Engineering Editorial Board. Student volunteers will act as liaisons between the SAC and the other governing boards, and will be involved with various areas of each board’s activities. Our student volunteers will, in turn, get the unique opportunity to see how the RAS conferences, publications, and industrial activities are planned and managed, to work directly with leaders in our field, and to work with the SAC. All volunteer positions have currently been filled, future opportunities will be announced as they arise.

Young Reviewers Program (YRP)

The YRP aims to introduce IEEE RAS students to sound practices in peer reviewing of scientific papers. To achieve this objective, student YRP members will be supervised by senior reviewers (SRs) in regular RAS review procedures. In addition to benefitting from a mentor–mentee relationship, YRP members have the opportunity to attend Webinars and online tutorials to further explore and improve their writing and reviewing skills. Once a certain level of expertise is demonstrated, students will graduate with an overall qualification grade. The YRP will be introduced during the IROS 2015 review period. Details of the YRP and membership applications will be announced soon and posted here.
Project lead: Arash Ajoudani (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Committee: Tamás Haidegger, Pat Wensing, Lauren Miller, and Jory Denny.

Web-based Events and Competitions

The SAC organizes online contests and webinars periodically. Recently, we have hosted student video contests, SAC logo design competitions, and photo contests. (link to contests). If you have an idea for or would like to organize a web-based competition that would benefit the RAS student community, please let us know.

Chapter Outreach: The Regional Student Representative Program (RSR)

The SAC is introducing a new structure to facilitate better networking between the SAC and RAS Student Chapters across the world. The new system is set up with the aim to improve communications, encourage and support outstanding initiatives and provide a platform for dedicated volunteers to be recognized for their efforts.
Project lead: Aswin Shibu
Committee: Suren Kumar, Lauren Miller

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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Megan Emmons

Student Activities Co-Chair
Colorado State University
Fort Collins (CO), United States
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Past Leadership

Patrick Wensing (co-chair) 2012-2014
Laura Margheri (chair) 2012-2013
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)

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

Regional Student Representative (RSR)

The RSR program is a new initiative from the SAC with the aim of reaching out to student chapters in different regions and catering to their specific needs. The main duties of volunteers will include organizing regular meetings with RAS student chairs and section chairs to address concerns of different chapters, providing technical support and experts to chapters via the Distinguished Lecture Programs, and encouraging humanitarian technologies initiatives in their domain.
If interested: Fill out the application form and send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 10 April 2015.

Webinar Coordinators

Overview: We will be working with the RAM editorial board to organize a series of hangouts on air in coordination with RAM special issues. We need 1-2 volunteers to look into logistics and coordinate a hangout on air, invite speakers (from the list of guest editors and authors of a RAM special issue), solicit questions and discussion topics from students, publicize the event, and moderate the actual hangout on air. The SAC will work closely with the volunteer, and this is a great opportunity to meet some high profile researchers.
Desired Skills and Experience: Great organization and communication skills.
If interested: E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., tell us a little about yourself including any experience you have related to the project tasks.

Social media and student reporting

We’re looking for motivated students to find and spotlight student-specific news items featuring RAS students (labs, groups, chapters, individuals) that are doing cool things to put on the RAS newsfeed/facebook/twitter accounts and develop content for the student column in the RAM magazine.
Desired Skills and Experience: Writing and editing skills, enthusiasm, and self-motivation.
If interested: E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

General SAC Involvement

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.

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