More than 1,000 people gathered in Bangalore, India, on 24 August to kick off the 50th anniversary celebration of Region 10, the Asia Pacific Region. Formed in 1966, it is the youngest of IEEE’s 10 regions, yet it has the largest IEEE membership, with more than 113,000 members.
Representatives from across the region, which stretches from South Korea and Japan to New Zealand in the south and Pakistan in the west, attended the opening ceremony. They joined IEEE President Barry Shoop and other leaders from the organization as well as from industry. A.S. Kiran Kumar, chair of the Indian Space Research Organization, and G. Satheesh Reddy, scientific advisor to the defense minister of India, were among the many notable guests.
Region 10 Director Ramakrishna Kappagantu started off the evening by spotlighting the region’s achievements during the past 50 years, including the many contributions made by volunteers who have worked on projects that benefit humanity.
Kappagantu also read a message from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who expressed his gratitude to IEEE for reinforcing the spirit of innovation among India’s young technology professionals and for helping to shape key initiatives focused on the country’s governance and infrastructure development.
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
President Shoop spoke about the region’s formative years and its enormous growth in membership. He also launched IEEE’s first mobile app, IEEE Event Finder, which lets users search for an event not only by its name but also by city, state, or province; by IEEE region, section, or chapter; or by the IEEE society or council sponsoring it.
S.K. Sharma, chair and managing director of Bharat Electronics, an aerospace and defense company in Bangalore, spoke about the influence IEEE journals have had on innovations developed by his company. He also talked about the government’s instrumental role in technology initiatives—like Make in India, a movement to foster innovation throughout the country—as well as projects IEEE has played a role in, including smart city development, green energy generation, and tele-education and tele-medicine.
Reddy was presented with the first Institution of Engineers (India)–IEEE Award for Engineering Excellence for his contributions in navigation and avionics.
At the end of the night, past Region 10 directors were honored for their hard work in increasing membership and developing initiatives.
Earlier in the day, the IEEE Women in Engineering Global Summit was held in Bangalore, with the theme “Embracing Engineering and Technology, and Breaking Barriers.” The summit focused on helping female engineers in mid-level or senior positions to succeed in their careers. More than 200 engineers and scientists attended. Speakers included T.K. Anuradha, the first female program director of the Indian Space Research Organisation Satellite Centre, and Hideko S. Kunii, director of Honda Motors. IEEE Life Fellow Janina Mazierska, the first and only female director of Region 10, chaired the summit along with Member Celia Shahnaz, chair of the region’s WIE affinity group.
During the next three days, members attended the IEEE Region 10 Student, Young Professionals, Women in Engineering, and Life Member Congress (SYWLC), organized by the Bangalore, Bangladesh, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, and Uttar Pradesh sections. The program was split into three tracks to help participants understand and appreciate global technological challenges. The tracks included talks by speakers from defense and space exploration, as well as tech startups. Attendees also participated in interactive team-building exercises in which they addressed challenges being faced by IEEE. Topics included how to provide mentorship for women in engineering and how to form partnerships with others focused on complementary projects.
The congress featured a cultural event as well, in which participants dressed in clothing that represented their respective backgrounds. Delegates from each country also displayed artifacts and food that showcased their cultural heritage. The crowd-pleaser of the night was the Japanese display: Pokémon and calligraphy. Delegates from different countries also presented both traditional and contemporary dances. The performances concluded with delegates dancing to popular Bollywood songs.
“It has been a fun and awesome experience in Bangalore,” said IEEE Graduate Student Member Saaveethya Sivakumar, a volunteer from Sri Lanka. “Kudos to the organizing team and the volunteers.”
Harish Mysore is the director of IEEE India Operations, in Bangalore. This article was written with the help of Student Members Prateek Parashar and Supritha Sheshadri, Member Vikram Sharma, and Life Fellow Janina Mazierska, who are all volunteers with the organization.