Women in Engineering and Young Professionals Luncheon and Tea Ceremony

The IEEE SMC 2018 Women in Engineering and Young Professionals Luncheon will focus on the importance of gender equality and women empowerment in the STEM fields and strategies for encouraging young girls to pursue STEM careers. The Luncheon will feature as keynote Dr. Yasuyo Kotake, Group Leader of Human Sensing and Control Laboratory at Omron Corporation, Kyoto, Japan.

We have closed the registration for this event because it reached the limit number of attendees.

The registrant will receive their registration status soon.

The IEEE SMC Society will provide lunch boxes followed by a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony.
(Note: Website Japanese Tea Ceremony describes the tea ceremony. You may skip the section “Videos on the Japanese Tea Ceremony”.)


Room: “Fuko” (風光)

Date/Time: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm


  • 11:30 am:
    Opening Remarks – Dr. Eddie Tunstel, President, SMC Society
  • 11:45 am:
    Value Creation from Innovation based on Scientific Knowledge: Experiences of a Woman Engineering Scientist – Dr. Yasuyo Kotake, Omron Corporation
  • 12:30 pm:
    Tea Ceremony


Takako Sasakawa
Urasenke Associate Instructor, Kyoto, Japan

Vanessa Batista Schramm
Federal University of Campina Grande, Brazil

Ljiljana Trajkovic
Simon Fraser University, Canada

Message from Takako Sasakawa

To the IEEE SMC 2018 Attendees:

Each human culture bears its regional and human uniqueness. However, they have all been influenced by each other over time. Japanese culture is often characterized by the integration of numerous influences from abroad. While for many years, the “tea ceremony” has preserved this originality, it has been incorporating new ideas that fulfill the purpose of the event.

The term “tea ceremony“ was coined in the era of Samurai. After more than four hundred years, guests still share peaceful time just as the samurais had. I am honored to be given this opportunity to host a “tea ceremony” event at SMC 2018. Ljiljana Trajkovic and I share our friendship for forty years, which is only one tenth of the history of “the way of tea”. This event will introduce you to “the world of tea” in casual setting. I plan to make you feel the meaning of this Japanese tradition and show you the way to fully enjoy the event.

I have given several formal tea ceremonies at shrines and classes for students from abroad as well as classes at the Mainichi Culture Center in Osaka. The views of the participants are often distinct and you will get inspired by these differences. At the same time, you will get the notion of our sameness. Sharing the time and space will give and get the very best of you.

Looking forward to welcoming you and serving you the Tea,

Takako Sasakawa
Urasenke Associate Instructor, Kyoto, Japan


Dr. Yasuyo Kotake

Yasuyo Kotake, Ph.D., Member, IEEE,
Human Sensing and Control Laboratory
Technology and Intellectual Property H.Q.
Omron Corporation
Kyoto, Japan

Dr. Yasuyo Kotake is a Group Leader of Human Sensing and Control Laboratory at Omron Corporation, Kyoto, Japan. She obtained a Ph.D. degree in Systems Neuroscience in 2008 from Osaka University, Osaka, Japan. After graduation, she joined Omron due to her strong belief and passion towards Omron’s philosophy: “Harmonization of Humans and Machines”. She is devoted to the development of general solutions to improve visual and human sensing products by applying sensory inspection and computational intelligence. She is currently exploring and leading the integration between AI and Human dynamics which helps provide social solutions to solve customers’ problems related to human factors that have been observed in factory automations, social systems, and healthcare domains. She received the best research and encouragement award from Japan Neural Network Society in 2007, and the best demonstration award from Symposium on Sensing via Image Information in 2012.

Dr. Eddie Tunstel

Dr. Edward Tunstel received the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico focused on intelligent robot control and autonomous systems. He is currently an Associate Director of Robotics at the United Technologies Research Center engaged in human-collaborative robotics for applications spanning intelligent buildings to aerospace systems. He was previously a Senior Roboticist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a Senior Robotics Engineer prior.
Dr. Tunstel is a Fellow of the IEEE and President of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society.

Ms. Takako Sasakawa

Takako Sasakawa became Urasenke Associate Instructor in 2010. She started following the footprints of the precursors in “the way of tea” on June 6th when she was 39. In Kyoto, it is said that the best time for a girl to begin taking traditional lessons is on June 6th when she is nine years old. Three decades later, she had her first meeting with her mentor. She spent several years in the USA during her childhood and attended graduate school at the University of California Berkeley on Fulbright Fellowship. It took her years to “knock on the door” to Japanese tradition when she was ready to focus on her cultural background after being influenced by western culture. Only after learning “the way of tea” she was able to accept her cultural heritage.

“Tea ceremony” is the most popular expression regarding “the way of tea”. Everything changes with time and yet the core idea of serving a bowl of tea for the guest is timeless. She has been hosting guests to share the time and space together and realize that you are the lucky ones to meet. The occasions that she provides are somewhat unique to make the guests from abroad feel relaxed.

She had co-translated two books into Japanese: “One Earth, One Mind” by M. W. Fox and “Biology of Communication” by D. W. Lewis and D. M. Gower. Her educational background is in the field of biology and entomology and, hence, she looks into the conventional Japanese culture from a scientific viewpoint.