Anniversary Celebrations in Full Swing

Several IEEE Engineering the Future Day celebrations were held worldwide on 13 May

7 July 2009

What do Antwerp, Belgium; Milan; Faisalabad, Pakistan; Dearborn, Mich.; and Piscataway, N.J., have in common? IEEE Engineering the Future Day celebrations were held in those places on 13 May, IEEE’s official anniversary date. The simultaneous celebrations were organized to recognize the contributions made by IEEE members and engineering and technology professionals for the benefit of mankind.

But those weren’t the only anniversary celebrations this year. More than 120 events have been held, with about 50 to go. And there’s still time to schedule your group’s own celebration.

DUAL ANNIVERSARIES This year the IEEE Benelux and IEEE Italy sections mark their 50th anniversaries, and each held its anniversary celebrations on 13 May. The Benelux event included a review of the section’s history, a guided tour for its 50 guests of Antwerp’s famous diamond district, and a visit to the city’s Central Station, considered one of the finest examples of railway architecture. The event ended with a dinner.

The IEEE student branch at Politecnico of Milan organized the day’s activities for the IEEE Italy Section. Section Chair Silvano Donati opened the meeting for his 50 guests with a review of the section’s history. Then Senior Member Sergio Pignari, chair of the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society chapter, talked about the role the society has played in Italy. IEEE Fellow Alessandro Ferrero discussed the culture of engineering and the need for engineers to continue their education. And Fellow Luigi Dadda spoke of the development of electrical technology in Italy and the role of professional associations.

At Government College University in Faisalabad, the IEEE student branch, along with the IEEE Women in Engineering student group and the IEEE Computer Society student chapter, organized a number of activities to celebrate the day. The student branch held a career development program for high school students in Pakka Anna, a remote area near the Toba Tek Singh district in Punjab. The branch also ran a quiz on the basics of engineering and had the high school students make jigsaw puzzles.

The WIE group visited a home for disabled children to talk about engineering and to distribute gifts.

The newly established IEEE Computer Society student branch held a two-day workshop on file handling and graphics, attended by 55 people.

With automakers in Detroit shedding hundreds of engineering jobs, the IEEE Southeastern Michigan Section in Dearborn decided the best way to mark the anniversary was to help its members find jobs. It held a professional development seminar that covered leadership skills and the fundamentals of project management. Both sessions drew nearly 25 members.

And at the IEEE Operations Center in Piscataway, nearly 800 staff members celebrated with ice cream and activities that raised more than US $1800 for the IEEE Humanitarian Technology Fund. The fund awards grants for projects that use technology to improve the quality of life, especially in developing countries.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution on 13 May supporting the goals and ideals of IEEE Engineering the Future Day.

GLOBALLY SPEAKING Among the celebrations on the 125th anniversary calendar are those sponsored by the IEEE Board of Directors and held in technology hubs around the world. A Munich gathering on 27 April attracted 250 people for presentations by speakers including Wolfgang A. Herrmann, president of Technical University; Josef A. Nossek, past president of VDE, the German association for electrical, electronics, and information technology professionals; and Martin Zeil, Bavarian state secretary of economic affairs, infrastructure, transport and technology. The day concluded with an invitation-only reception.

The Austin, Texas, tech fair on 30 April drew more than 900 people. At the event, sponsored in part by the IEEE Central Texas Section, local technology companies showcased their achievements, and forums discussed how professionals can become entrepreneurs and consultants. A panel discussion on “The Engineer of 2020” included Jack McDonald, CEO, Perficient; Tony Ambler, chairman of the electrical and computer engineering department at the University of Texas at Austin; Shelly Van Dyke, corporate strategist at Freescale Semiconductor; and Garrett Polhamus, the section chair.

And 300 people attended an event in Boston on 11 May in conjunction with the IEEE International Conference on Homeland Security.

Still ahead are celebrations in Bangalore (29 August), San Jose, Calif. (16 September), Beijing (22 September), London (6 October), and Tokyo (23 October).

ALSO IN THE WORKS And still more commemorations are being planned by regions, student branches, sections, and conferences. IEEE Region 10 is set to recognize the anniversary with a variety of activities during its Student Congress from 16 to 19 July at the National University of Singapore. The region is bringing together for the first time IEEE student volunteers to network and share ideas for improving their student branches.

IEEE's very first society, Power & Energy, plans to celebrate its 125th anniversary as well as IEEE’s at its general meeting, scheduled from 26 to 30 July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The featured speaker is Kurt Yeager, president of the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit sponsor of R&D in Palo Alto, Calif.

The IEEE Toronto Section is slated to note the anniversary on 29 September by unveiling a plaque designating John Alexander Hopps’s invention of the first external cardiac pacemaker as an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing.

Celebratory activities are taking place during the Region 8 committee meeting from 9 to 11 October in Lisbon; the International Conference on Multimedia, Information Networking and Security from 18 to 20 November in Wuhan, Hubei, China; and the IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from 8 to 11 December in Hong Kong.


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