A record number of IEEE groups around the world found many different ways to celebrate the fifth annual IEEE Day on 7 October. More than 500 events took place, including workshops, humanitarian projects, and cake and pizza parties.
The day commemorates the 1884 meeting in Philadelphia when members of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, one of IEEE’s predecessor societies, gathered for the first time to share technical ideas. This year’s celebrations were organized around the theme of “Leveraging Technology for a Better Tomorrow.”
Several groups took IEEE Day as an opportunity to hold a workshop or invite a prominent speaker to talk about technology, career skills, or volunteering.
For example, the IEEE Lithuania Section organized a pair of seminars at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. Senior Member Artūras Serackis, a professor in the university’s electronic systems department, spoke on artificial neural networks. The other seminar explored the future of smart-home robots.
Student members at KTH Royal Institute, in Stockholm, hosted Senior Member Margaretha Eriksson, an IEEE Sweden Section board member. She is program manager in charge of internal communications at Ericsson, headquartered in Stockholm. Eriksson spoke to students about information security and risk analysis. The event wrapped up with games, pizza, and cake.
The IEEE Young Professionals group and the IEEE Professional Activities Committee for Engineers in Memphis, Tenn., helped each other with practice in public speaking at a workshop held at a restaurant in the city. Those attending were then asked to give a two-minute speech on a topic written on a piece of paper that they picked from a bag. Door prizes were awarded, and all participants were treated to a buffet dinner.
Members of the IEEE Delhi (India) Section collected unwanted gear and gadgets and transported them to a facility for recycling. The high-tech garbage included cellphones and computers that may contain toxic contaminants such as lead, cadmium, and beryllium.
Two IEEE student branches marked the occasion by spending time with children. Members of the IEEE student branch at Sri Siddhartha Institute of Technology, in Tumkur, India, visited a local orphanage. The students organized a hands-on workshop in which the children could tinker with electronic equipment. The students also talked to them about pursuing careers in engineering or technology. The other student branch, from the National Higher Engineering School of Tunis, in Tunisia, spent the day at a local children’s hospital entertaining cancer patients with music and games.
Members were also busily posting on Twitter and Facebook. The IEEE Day Facebook page garnered a record number of followers—more than 37,000—just days before the event. Hundreds of members also tweeted about their experiences, tagging their posts with #IEEEDay2014 and #GoFor5.
The IEEE Day celebration didn’t end on 7 October. A photo contest, an annual event, called for members to submit group photos showing them celebrating the day. Photos were submitted from 14 to 29 October and the winners were announced on 7 November.
For the second year in a row, the IEEE Women in Engineering affinity group at Ajman University of Science and Technology, in the United Arab Emirates, submitted the first place photo [above]. The group was awarded a cash prize of US $700.