Individuals who donate at least US $100 to the IEEE Life Members Fund from now through September will receive the third in a series of six limited-edition pewter coasters designed for the fund. This latest one depicts the Tokaido Shinkansen, the world’s first inter-city high-speed rail line.
Donations to the fund, which are tax-deductible in the United States, support programs to educate engineers, students, and the public about the fast-changing world of electrotechnology. The fund has distributed more than $1 million since 1998 for awards programs, technology history conferences, educational workshops, professional development programs, and other endeavors.
The coasters honor IEEE Milestones in electrical engineering and computing. The Tokaido Shinkansen, or bullet train, as it is known, began operating in 1964 between Tokyo and Osaka, a route of more than 500 kilometers. It set a world record at the time, moving at speeds of up to 210 km per hour. It has since become the world’s busiest high-speed rail line, carrying 151 million passengers each year.
Earlier coasters recognize the Panama Canal electric and control installation of 1914, which made possible the canal’s operation, and Telstar, which in 1962 was the first satellite to carry a transatlantic television signal. When a new coaster is released each year, one is sent to each current donor.