Student ham Derek Kozel, AG6PO, working with ARRL Santa Clara Valley section-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, February 17, 2014

Student ham Derek Kozel, AG6PO, working with ARRL Santa Clara Valley section

ECE student Derek Kozel, AG6PO (extra), has recently been appointed to a leadership position in the local section of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for Amateur Radio operators. The Santa Clara Valley ARRL section includes Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, home to more than 30 ham clubs.

As the assistant section manager, Kozel will focus on youth coordination, to generate more interest in radio technology among Bay Area students, from elementary schools through colleges. The connection started at Pacificon 2013, where Kozel taught a session on software-defined radio. Members from several sections were interested in hearing his ideas for engaging younger hams.

Bringing in younger ham operators helps “continue the long history of innovation and community service” within the Amateur Radio community and to bring in “new talent and ideas around modern digital modes,” Kozel explained.

Kozel is also technical operations manager of Wireless Innovators, W6CMU, at the Silicon Valley campus, where he is in the MS ECE degree program. He earned his entry level license as an undergraduate through the Carnegie Tech Radio Club, W3VC, in Pittsburgh and also served as President of that club — so he’s very familiar with 21st century Amateur Radio challenges and accomplishments.

His first goal is to create a strong network for collegiate radio clubs from Stanford, San Jose State and others, and develop events that focus on peer outreach. ARRL sections are also very involved in disaster management and emergency response exercises, which he says he’d like to raise awareness of within both Wireless Innovators and the other college clubs as a way to increase involvement in the radio community.

Congratulate Kozel in person this weekend, as W6CMU Wireless Innovators host an antenna building class and fox hunt Feb. 21-22 at CMU’s Silicon Valley campus at Moffett Field.