IEEE Resources To Help Members Get Involved in Social Causes

Videos and webinars feature ways to put your engineering skills to work

6 February 2015

With the tagline “Advancing Technology for the Benefit of Humanity,” it’s no surprise that IEEE provides its members with many opportunities to use their skills to help others. Here’s a list of resources for members who want to get involved in initiatives around the globe.

  • IEEE Xplore Digital Library

    The library has a plethora of research papers on ways technology is being used to benefit underserved regions. For example, there’s a paper on a photovoltaic water pumping system for remote communities and another on a distance education project in the Amazon.  Also available in the “Books and eBooks” section is The Economics of Electricity Markets [Wiley, 2014], which presents the fundamental economic principles underpinning the electrical industry and how they vary across countries.

  • IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT)

    IEEE SIGHT brings IEEE members together to work on projects that apply technology to help communities in need. Volunteers could bring electricity or Internet access to schools and hospitals, or provide students with educational opportunities. A group in Chile [right], for example, equipped classrooms with computer-assisted games that engage children who are mentally or physically challenged. Sign up for SIGHT’s monthly e-newsletter or become a fan on Facebook to get the latest news about its activities and ways to get involved. Starting a project of your own is also encouraged.

  • Engineering For Change

    Cosponsored by IEEE, the E4C website is a platform for engineers to share resources and work together on social causes. The site’s “Solutions Library” presents ideas on how to, for example, construct a bicycle ambulance to transport people in remote regions to a hospital or build a toilet that composts waste that can then be used as fertilizer. The platform also has a “Workspace” where people can collaborate and solve problems. Also there are more than 50 webinars on topics such as advances in household water treatment, innovations in maternal health, and providing Internet access in rural Africa.

  • Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)

    Run by IEEE Educational Activities, EPICS organizes high school and university students to work on engineering-related projects for local organizations. Student groups can receive grants of US $5,000 to $10,000 to pursue their ideas. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

  • IEEE Smart Villages

    The new signature program of the IEEE Foundation provides funding and support for local entrepreneurs in remote regions to deliver renewable energy and electricity to their villages. Projects must provide an immediate yet broad impact and be sustainable over the long term. The portal of the IEEE Smart Village program (the new name of the Community Solutions Initiative) provides information on how to volunteer or become a local entrepreneur, as well as a list of upcoming conferences, training opportunities, and educational resources. The portal also lists all the projects currently under way and is updated with news items and blog posts.

  • App-E-Feat

    In partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, which was established to help solve some of the world’s most pressing social problems, App-E-Feat asks IEEE members to design mobile apps that could be useful in underserved communities. Nonprofits submit requests on the site for help, and members can select a project to work on. Or they can be matched up by the site to a project based on their skills and interests.


    This Internet-based television network offers a host of videos based on IEEE’s areas of interest, including topics covering humanitarian efforts and emerging markets. Watch IEEE Member Justin Henriques talk about implementing a refrigerator for storing vaccines that’s powered by solar energy, IEEE Member Khanjan Mehta share his ideas for affordable greenhouses in Africa [right], and IEEE Member Dale Smith discuss wireless networks for humanitarian use.

IEEE membership offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities for those who share a common interest in technology. If you are not already a member, consider joining IEEE and becoming part of a worldwide network of more than 400,000 students and professionals.

Learn More