Six Sections Adopt Sibling Status

IEEE section pairs will exchange ideas, work to meet goals

8 January 2009

A new sibling in the family is almost always an inspiring and exciting experience. That’s the feeling shared by six IEEE sections that recently adopted sibling status: Princeton/Central New Jersey and Bangalore, India; Pittsburgh and Toronto; Ottawa and Twin Cities, Minn.

Memorandums of understanding between the three sets of siblings were signed in Canada in September during the IEEE Sections Congress in Quebec City. These relationships were developed for the purpose of exchanging ideas so each section can benefit from the other’s experience.

“India has a rich resource of highly trained technical manpower, and though the country is growing rapidly it still has many challenging problems, both technical and financial,” says Ashutosh Dutta, chair of IEEE Princeton/Central New Jersey Section. “Collaborative projects taken up by sister sections could prove to be a boon for both.”

Sister status can also provide each “sister” with a channel for exchanging, discussing, and validating ideas, and by offering fresh perspectives on solving common issues. Help can also be available for improving operational procedures such as event budgeting and expense reimbursement.

Organizing joint section and chapter activities, setting up visits by distinguished lecturers from each section, and promoting each other’s conferences are some of the expected benefits, according to Dutta.

Both sections have already begun coordinating activities. The Princeton/Central New Jersey section hosted a meeting for Ramakrishna Kappagantu, chair of the IEEE Bangalore Section, when he visited New Jersey in December to talk about his section’s upcoming activities and goals.

To further their members’ knowledge, Dutta plans to share materials presented at seminars and programs organized by each group, and, if possible, to work on humanitarian projects jointly.

“Sister section relationships tear down geographic boundaries and allow members to be IEEE ambassadors and serve the community of both regions,” Dutta says. “It is fulfilling for me when I am able to serve the community in another part of the world.”

CANADIAN SISTERS Likewise, Marcelo Mota, secretary of the IEEE Toronto Section, sees many benefits emerging from the relationship with the Pittsburgh Section.

“Close cooperation will allow us to share best practices, learn from each other’s experience, and organize programs and events jointly,” he says. “It will help optimize resources and maximize results for both groups.”

Both sections are busily organizing the 2009 IEEE Toronto International Conference—Science and Technology for Humanity, taking place from 27 to 29 September. They also are planning the IEEE Milestone dedication ceremony for the Hopps First External Pacemaker, taking place at that meeting. The external pacemaker was designed and built in 1950 by Canadian electrical engineer John Hopps.

The Ottawa and Twin Cities sections found they had similar interests in such technical areas as engineering in medicine and biology, and reliability, and hope to strengthen outreach to industry and students.

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