A portrait of Dr. Vineetha Menon, the IEEE-HKN Outstanding Young Professional for 2021.

Dr. Vineetha Menon is the IEEE-HKN Outstanding Young Professional for 2021.

Michael Mercier | UAH

Dr. Vineetha Menon, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and director of the Big Data Analytics Lab at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of the University of Alabama System, has been named the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) Outstanding Young Professional for 2021.

The award, made by the IEEE Educational Activities Board, is for exemplary contributions that uphold the core values of IEEE-HKN through scholarship in multidisciplinary big data applications research and for leadership, mentoring and empowerment of women and minorities in STEM.

Dr. Menon was nominated by Dr. S.K. Ramesh, the IEEE-HKN president in 2016 and one of the 2022 IEEE presidential candidates. Dr. Ramesh is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and the former dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at California State University, Northridge.

“Being acknowledged as the 2021 IEEE-HKN Outstanding Young Professional in these challenging times was a very humbling experience,” says Dr. Menon, who will take part in an IEEE virtual recognition event in November. “I would like to thank IEEE and IEEE-HKN for creating wonderful platforms for young professionals to follow their aspirations and make impacts in the society.”

Since 2011, Dr. Menon has held global leadership roles and taken part in professional activities in the IEEE, IEEE-HKN and IEEE Women in Engineering communities.

Last year, she was selected by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine as one of 20 recipients of a Gulf Research Program Early-Career Research Fellowship.

At UAH, Dr. Menon has collaborated to expedite a COVID-19 drug discovery process using Big Data analytics with Dr. Jerome Baudry, the Mrs. Pei-Ling Chan Chair in the Department of Biological Sciences. She collaborated to develop a personalized AI-based stress monitoring and detection system to address healthcare worker stresses during COVID-19 with Dr. Emil Jovanov, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“My achievements today would not have been possible without the support of a great department, wonderful colleagues and supportive college of science that encourages cross-disciplinary collaborations,” she says.

Dr. Menon is also the faculty advisor for the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and the ACM-W women’s chapter at UAH, and she sponsors activities that include student mentoring, recruiting and outreach.

She is committed to promoting and increasing the number of women and minorities in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

“This award is a responsibility,” Dr. Menon says. “It invigorates me to continue my pursuit of multidisciplinary research to address challenging scientific problems, help my students excel in school and their professions, and dedicate my life in service to the larger scientific and non-scientific community.”

Formerly the Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer award, the IEEE Outstanding Young Professional award has been presented annually since 1936. It is presented to exceptional young engineers who have demonstrated significant accomplishments in their career. Many recipients of this award have gone on to make major contributions to the electrical and computer engineering fields and hold noteworthy positions in academia, industry and government.

With over 400,000 members globally in over 160 countries, IEEE and its members inspire a global community to innovate for a better tomorrow and is the trusted voice for engineering, computing and technology information around the globe.



Dr. Vineetha Menon

Jim Steele