IEEE Region 10 Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

Read about the organization’s history in the Asia and Pacific Region

24 August 2016

Today IEEE celebrates the 50th anniversary of Region 10, the Asia and Pacific Region. Formed on 24 August, 1966, it is the youngest of IEEE’s 10 regions. With more than 113,000 members, it has the largest IEEE membership.

To commemorate the anniversary, The Institute takes a look back at the region’s origins and spotlights several of its milestones during the last five decades, taken from the Engineering and Technology History Wiki (ETHW).

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

When the region was formed, it was defined as “all remaining areas not included in the Regions 1 through 9.” The region covers an area stretching from South Korea and Japan to New Zealand in the south and Pakistan in the west.

The region’s inaugural steering director was Shigeo Shima, followed by the first official director, Tatsuji Nomura, both from Japan. The latter took the initiative of forming a regional committee with representatives from each country. The committee continues to meet annually to this day.

IEEE sections began to form in the Asia and Pacific Region before the official formation of Region 10. Tokyo was the first to form a section in 1955. India formed a section in 1959.* New Zealand and Pakistan were the first countries to form sections after the region was established, in 1968. The first region-wide activity didn’t take place until 1974, when Region 10 held its first student paper contest. The competition was a major undertaking because all the regional committee members joined forces to draft and approve the rules.

In 1976 the IEEE India Council became the first council in the region; it was established because of the growing number of sections throughout the country. The council’s focus was on educational activities. One of its main projects was organizing tours by distinguished IEEE lecturers on emerging technology areas.

Until 1979, Region 10 was still in search of its identity and mission, according to the ETHW. That year committee members set about drafting and approving a set of bylaws. Under the newly introduced bylaws, the first Region 10 delegate and director to be elected was V. Prasad Kodali of New Delhi, who took office in 1981. Kodali made a policy of initiating discussions with national engineering societies in Japan, Australia, and India to form cooperation agreements. As chair of the IEEE Educational Activities Board Transnational Committee, he brought together educational activities chairs from Regions 7, 8, 9, and 10 to identify common concerns so members from those regions could get the most from IEEE educational programs.

With a sense of purpose, the regional committee gave considerable attention to improving the organization and administration of Region 10 and planning for its future. New programs were instituted, such as technical conferences, which helped the region recruit more members and grow quickly.

A GROWING GROUP

A significant accomplishment for the region was TENCON, an international technical conference launched in 1981. Initiated and hosted by the Hong Kong Section, which had been formed in 1971, TENCON was co-sponsored by Region 10. The conference is still going strong today. The next one is scheduled for 22 to 25 November in Singapore.

Region 10 membership topped 100,000 for the first time in 2012. Students and graduate students make up the majority of members. Today the region has 57 sections, 6 councils, 17 subsections, 515 chapters, and 958 student branches.

A TIME TO CELEBRATE

During the year ahead, celebrations are planned throughout the region. A gala banquet held today at the Lalit Ashok hotel, in Bangalore, India, kicked off the festivities. Region 10 Director Ramakrishna Kappagantu, IEEE President Barry Shoop, and other IEEE dignitaries and staff attended, as well as officials from the Indian government and more than 1,000 guests.

Earlier in the day an IEEE Women in Engineering Global Summit was held in Bangalore, and the Region 10 Student/Young Professional/Women in Engineering/Life Member Congress is slated to take place from tomorrow to 27 August, also in Bangalore.

The anniversary festivities are scheduled to conclude with the 2017 IEEE Sections Congress, to be held from 11 to 13 August in Sydney.

Are you celebrating IEEE Region 10’s anniversary? Share your plans or favorite moments in the comments section below.

*This article has been corrected. 

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