When Eta Kappa Nu became the honor society of IEEE in 2010, the goal was to expand IEEE-HKN’s operations and chapters beyond North America. Not only has that mission been accomplished, but chapters were installed last year in each of IEEE’s 10 regions. They cover Africa, Europe, and the Middle East; Asia and the Pacific; Canada, Latin America, and the United States.
IEEE-HKN is made up of undergraduate and graduate students, professionals, and eminent members who have demonstrated exceptional engineering accomplishments. Student members are selected on the basis of scholastic standing, character, and leadership. Professional members are nominated by a current member and selected by virtue of their contributions.
“What we learned in the society’s first few years is that the concept of an honor society is not well understood outside of North America,” says Nancy Ostin, the society’s director.
One way of increasing its presence around the world was to identify and induct IEEE leaders who would have qualified as students if there had been an IEEE-HKN chapter at their university at the time or who had met the criteria of professional accomplishments and contributions, Ostin says.
“It has been the support and guidance of the professional members who have helped us identify universities in their IEEE region or section that would qualify to have a chapter, make the connections with the engineering departments, and help with the chapter’s installation,” she says.
At the end of 2017, there were 15 global chapters. They include the Indian Institute of Science, in Bengaluru; the National University of Singapore; the Polytechnic of Turin, Italy; the University of Johannesburg; and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez.