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IEEE Presents: Lightweight Backpacking From an Engineer’s Perspective

What is Lightweight Backpacking? The right planning and gear choices can shrink a 40-50 lb. backpack to 10-20 lbs. without compromising comfort and safety. And a lighter pack will certainly contribute to greater enjoyment. IEEE/ASME-member Dennis Horwitz will present the principles of lightweight backpacking and the gear selection methodology that goes with it. But let’s admit it - engineers are notorious gear junkies. From the engineering perspective, we’ll look at the innovations (and cost) in fabrics, insulation, chemistry, electronics and design that are helping the outdoorsman shed weight and enjoy more. And a lighter pack helps extend your love of the outdoors into your 60s and 70s. Even if you are not a backpacker or camper, everyone will take away something from this interesting and light-hearted presentation. Get lighter and get out more.


Dennis Horwitz is a high technology entrepreneur and co-founder of three fiber optic technology companies – Photodyne Inc. (1979-1990), Rifocs Corporation (1990-2004) and Micronor Inc. (2004 to the present). His first two companies were successful innovators of fiber optic test and measurement equipment for telecom, industrial, and mil/aero applications. His current company Micronor is developing and producing EMI/RFI-immune fiber optic position and signaling sensors that are enabling new industrial automation and medical applications. Dennis loves hiking, camping, history, and exploring off the beaten path. He and a high school friend follow in the footsteps of PBS celebrity Huell Howser and explore California’s Gold at every opportunity.