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Issue 15
issue pic Dr. Veena Rawat is the President of the Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC). An agency of Industry Canada, CRC is responsible for conducting applied research and development in communications and related technologies.

Dr. Rawat has 34 years of experience with Industry Canada in senior management positions. Before joining CRC in 2003 as Executive Vice-President, she was responsible for managing Industry Canada programs related to spectrum engineering, standards development, access to spectrum for new radio services, and technical regulatory issues for all radio services.

Dr. Rawat also has extensive experience working with senior officials of Canadian organizations including the Radio Advisory Board of Canada, Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and Electro-Federation Canada. She has led Canadian delegations and negotiations at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) of the United Nations, and the Organization of American States. Similarly, she has led teams negotiating with U.S. government organizations including the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. From the mid-nineties to 2003, she was co-chair of the Canada-U.S. Committee to negotiate spectrum use along the border.

Among the many technical committees that have benefited from Dr. Rawat's expertise and leadership is ITU-R Study Group 4. Dr. Rawat currently chairs the group, examining satellite services and their applications ranging from emergency telecommunications to providing broadband connectivity. In 2003, she became the first woman to chair the World Radiocommunication (WRC) Conference of the ITU, where issues impacting billions of investment dollars in the communications industry are addressed. The Secretary General of the ITU awarded Dr. Rawat a gold medal for her chairmanship.

Her work has garnered her much recognition, including the 2008 Sara Kirke Award for Woman Entrepreneurship from the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, the Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) Woman of the Year Award, the CWC Trailblazer Award, and ITU's gold and silver medals for her contributions in the international arena. She has also received the International Leadership in Government Award from the Wireless Communications Association International in the U.S.; the Professional Woman Award from the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce; the Trailblazer Award from the Women's Executive Network, as part of their list of "Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100"; the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Commemorative Medal; and Industry Canada's Excellence in Leadership Award.

Her efforts and contributions have led to a significant increase in the representation and recognition of women in leadership roles in these national and international organizations. She continues to be involved in activities that encourage and increase the number of women in science and technology.

Dr. Rawat immigrated to Canada from India in 1968 and was the first woman to graduate with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Queen's University in 1973.

1) How did you get started in the satellite business?

I got started in satellite business by managing, at Industry Canada for number of years, the Radio Spectrum Engineering Program which dealt with access to spectrum and orbit resources for all satellite communication services,( MSS, BSS, FSS, ) including navigation services (e.g.GPS, Galelio etc ) and search and rescue by satellite. This required international negotiations at the ITU and bilateral , multilateral arrangements with the neighbouring countries.

2) How have you been involved in changes brought about in or by this business (innovations, technologies, services)?

Since 2004, I have been involved in satcom R&D through my position as President of Communications Research Centre , where we do R&D in the following key areas:

  • Efficient use of spectrum and orbit
  • future technologies, both for space and ground segment, including for navigation and search and rescue
  • Showcasing and facilitating applications of Satcom ranging from broadband access in rural an dremote areas to e-learning, e-health, emergency communications, among others

3) What do you think was the greatest event/situation/opportunity you experienced?

My greatest event was to chair ITU-R's WRC-2003 ( World Radio Conference ), one month long event, involving negotiations among 192 countries for access to spectrum and orbit for new terrestrial and space services while ensuring existing use was not compomised. The extensive agenda of this conference involved many satcom issues involving FSS, GNSS and sound BSS.

4) What was the greatest obstacle?

Biggest challenge was to address regional differences on many issues within the time frame, recognizing that without solving these issues, there would be significant negative impact not only on telecom industry but also access to many new services will be delayed or denied to consumers and businesses.

5) What do you see happening in the next five years in this industry?

The industry is rapidly changing and adapting to the new communication environment with mobile and inter-active multi-media applications. Larger bandwidth, higher frequencies, and more flexible payloads will be developed. Broadband connectivity to remote and rural regions, such as the North, with high speed internet, tele-education and tele-medecine will continue to expand. New constallations for satellite aided search and rescue operations (SARSAT) will start to be deployed. The use of Software Defined Radios technology to produce reconfigurable multi-band terminals is also something that we see in the short term horizon.

6) What advice do you have for women interested in entering the industry?

I encourage those interested in the ICT industry to seriously consider the space industry, be it for satellite communications, navigation, space exploration, space research. There are a lot of challenging opportunities in policy development, business, research, operational.


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Issue No. 15:
Women in Space

Spring 2009

General Editor Introduction

From the Guest Editor

Audrey Allison, Dir., Frequency Management Services, Boeing Shared Services Group

Anita Antenucci, Managing Dir. Houlihan Lokey's Aerospace-Defense-Government

Dr. Wanda M. Austin Pres. & CEO, The Aerospace Corporation

Julie Bannerman, Gen.Counsel, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.

Sharri Berg, Senior V.P., News Operations, Fox News

Leslie Blaker, DataPath, Inc.

Yvonne Brill, Consultant, Satellite Tech. & Space Propulsion Systems

Michelle Bryan, Senior V.P., Human Resources, Intelsat

Dr. Angie Bukley, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering

Catherine Chang, General Counsel & Asst. Company Secretary, AsiaSat

Sabrina Cubbon, Gen. Manager, Marketing, AsiaSat

Yvette Dominguez, Manager, Payload Design Engineering Section, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.

Chris Ehrenbard, Dir., Broadcast Distribution, CBS

Mary Ann Elliot, Chairman of the Board, Arrowhead Global Solutions, Inc.

Celeste Ford, Founder & CEO, Stellar Solutions, Inc.

Mary Frost, former CEO, GlobeCast America

Eilene Galloway, NASA Pioneer

Carmen González-Sanfeliu, V.P., Latin America & Caribbean, Intelsat

Dawn Harms, V.P., Marketing & Sales, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.

Ellen Hoff, Pres., W.L. Pritchard & Co., L.C.

Polly Rash Hollis, Satellite Industry Professional

Britt Horncastle, Satellite Consultant

Susan Irwin, Pres., Irwin Communications, Inc.

Barbara Jaffe, Senior V.P., Advanced Technology and Operations, HBO

Christine King, Deputy V.P., Technical Services & Engineering, Lockheed Martin

Betsy Kulick, Newsletter Editor & Corporate Secretary, Mobile Satellite Users Association

Penelope Longbottom, Founder & Pres., Longbottom Communications

Joanne Maguire, Exec. V.P., Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

Andrea Maléter, Technical Dir., Futron Corporation

Joan T. Mancuso, Founder & Executive, Broadband International LLC

Dolores Martos, V.P., Sales for Latin America & Caribbean, SES Americom - SES New Skies

Brig. Gen. Susan K. Mashiko, Vice Commander, Space & Missile Systems Center, L.A. Air Force Base

Eileen McGowan, Corporate Strategy & Planning, Intelsat

Olwen Morgan, Development Engineer

Bridget Neville, V.P. & Gen. Manager, Satellite Engineering & Operations, Sirius XM Radio

Christine Paape, V.P., Space Explorers, Inc.

Rhonda Parson, Manager, Occasional-Use Sales & Traffic Division, EchoStar Satellite Services

Maj. Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, Deputy Dir., National Reconnaissance Office

Jane Petro, Kennedy Space Center Deputy Director

Dr. Nongluck Phinainitisart, D.Eng., Pres., Thaicom PLC

Mary Quagliotti, Retired Major General, Army

Radhika Ramachandran, Ph.D., Counsellor (SPACE) & Technical Liaison Officer

Veena Rawat, Pres., Communications Research Centre, Canada

Joslyn Read, V.P., Regulatory Affairs, SES Americom - SES New Skies

Walda Roseman, Founder & CEO, CompassRose International, Inc.

Farah Suhanah Ahmad Sarji, General Counsel, MEASAT

Jacqueline Schenkel, Founder, Schenkel & Associates, LLC

Kay Sears, Pres., Intelsat General

Gwynne Shotwell, Pres., SpaceX

Marcia Smith, Pres., Space Technology Policy Group, LLC

Pascale Sourisse, Gen. Manager, Land & Joint Systems Division, Thales

Andy Steinem, CEO, Dahl-Morrow International

Nicole P. Stott, Astronaut, NASA

Bambi Taskarelli, Voice/Data Engineer, NBCU

Leslie Taylor, Strategic Planning Division Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA, U.S. Dept. of Commerce

Synette Tom, Marketing Dir., Sales, Space Systems/Loral, Inc.

Marjorie Rhodes Townsend, Satellite Communications Consultant

Diane Tryneski, Senior V.P., Broadcast & Studio Operations, HBO

Diane VanBeber, V.P., Investor Relations, Corporate & Marketing Communications, Intelsat

Barbara Warren, Systems Analyst, International Telecommunication Union

Zhang Yan, Gen. Manager, CITICSat and Chief Rep., Asiasat

UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology: Astronomy Blog

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