Eta Kappa Nu

IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) is the student honor society of IEEE and is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing excellence in the IEEE-designated fields of interest. HKN meets every other Wednesday, opposite of IEEE meetings, though HKN members are encouraged to attend IEEE meetings as well.

HKN provides various services to the department, including selling lab kits for the EE labs, hosting workshops and other events that teach essential EE skills, and holding meetings with faculty and industry speakers.


HKN invites speakers from industry and UNL faculty to present on career opportunities and interesting EE topics. HKN often teams up with IEEE, and past meeting have included an Audio/Video tour of Memorial Stadium, driving Teslas with Dr. Cox, touring NCEE Labs, and hearing representatives from IBM, LI-COR, Bosch, and more talk about job opportunities with their companies. 

For up-to-date information, check out the IEEE Facebook group:

Check out a few of our coolest meetings below!

3-8-2017  Dr. Donald Cox of UNL talked to HKN/IEEE about electric vehicles, then gave the students a chance to drive his Tesla Roadster and Tesla Model S around the streets of Lincoln. The heart of an electric vehicle is its battery; as battery technology has improved to store more energy in less volume and weight, electric vehicles with ranges upwards of 200 miles (like the Model S) have become possible and increasingly popular.

3-30-2016  Undergrad Casey Murphy explained how to use the new Prusa i3 printers in the IEEE lounge. Objects can be downloaded from Thingiverse or designed in a program such as OpenSCAD. Then a slicing program such as Cura is used to convert the object into printing instructions, which can be sent to the printer over SD card or directly from the computer in the lounge.

3-16-2016  Perry Howell, who earned both his Bachelors and Masters degrees at UNL, spoke to HKN about the company he co-owns: Communication Systems Solutions (CSS). CSS is Lincoln engineering company that can take products "from concept to dock" by providing any or all services from design to manufacturing. The 35 employees work on multiple projects at a time, with past projects including a methane analyzer and a laser control board. The variety of the projects contributes to a mentally stimulating job or internship.

3-8-2016  The Prusa i3 3D printer was assembled and put in the IEEE lounge for use by all HKN members.

2-3-2016  HKN members discussed data transfer protocols for addressable LED strips and used an Innovation Board to program a strip of WS2812B LEDs for the IEEE lounge.

11-11-2015  LI-COR representatives Doc Chaves (Corporate Communications Director) and Brad Riensche (Technical Group Leader – Electrical) spoke to HKN members about their company’s technologies. LI-COR, started by a UNL student, remains based in Lincoln, NE, but its innovative products have spread literally all over the world; the sensors used to measure global climate change across all seven continents are a LI-COR product. “We help scientists answer difficult questions,” Chaves explained.

Though originally focused on lab equipment, LI-COR has expanded to commercial fields as well with products such as the methane analyzer Riensche helped develop. “Before this instrument, this measurement was impossible,” said Riensche. Readings that used to take days and a truck load of equipment can now be obtained in real-time by the device no bigger than a golf bag. It is just one example of “disruptive technology;” devices that people don’t know they need until it’s right in front of them and very easy to use.
As a private, family-owned company, LI-COR is able to deliver high-tech, high-quality equipment to scientists and commercial consumers. Next up for LI-COR: helping to cure cancer with near-infrared fluorescent dyes.

10-28-2015  UNL Professor Dr. Mark Bauer demonstrated his 3D printer, displayed items he had printed, and explained the software he uses for designing and printing objects.

9-30-2015  Cliff Schreier, a UNL alum who has held a variety of positions at IBM including firmware developer and manager, returned to UNL's HKN and IEEE chapters on September 30th to talk about his company.

Schreier explained the products IBM makes, including hardware and firmware for Open Power, the i and Z series systems, I/O firmware, and the Watson AI that famously beat its human competitors on Jeopardy.
IBM has a reputation for innovation, owning more patents than any other company. Over 100 year old, IBM also offers great job security. But Schreier was quick to add that "skill security" is even more important. "Keep your skills up. You've always got to keep learning," Schreier advised.
Following his presentation Schreier took resumes, networked with HKN and IEEE members, and discussed internship and career opportunities at IBM.