This year’s congress, held in July, gave students an opportunity to interact with IEEE’s top leadership and learn about member benefits and new programs and activities. It was hosted by the IEEE Hyderabad Section at Hotel Taj Krishna, in Hyderabad, India, and was organized around the theme “Empowering Women and Youth to Create a Better Tomorrow.”
The biannual congress brings together members from across IEEE’s Asia Pacific region, Region 10, to network, learn about the latest IEEE programs, and share strategies for enhancing membership. More than 250 people attended the event, held from 11 to 14 July. Attendees, in addition to students, included volunteers, members of the region’s executive committees, IEEE President Peter Staecker, and three former IEEE presidents.
The first day set the pace for the rest of the event with discussions and learning opportunities. President Staecker, speaking on the challenges and opportunities facing IEEE, discussed four priorities for the future recently put forth by the IEEE Board of Directors. Michael Lightner, 2006 IEEE president and 2013 vice president for educational activities, led the audience in a Q&A on volunteerism and members’ professional and educational needs. Members also participated in brainstorming sessions within their sections about how to better plan their activities, and in workshops on leadership and interpersonal communications.
An app-development competition for the region’s student members was announced at the meeting. Sponsored by the IEEE Educational Activities Board in collaboration with the Indian government’s Aakash tablet initiative, the competition is to design an app that helps brings educational content to students. The initiative makes use of what could be the world’s cheapest tablet computer for Indian students at US $50. The latest version of the tablet was distributed to all student and graduate student members at the event.
Moshe Kam, 2011 IEEE president, captured the audience’s attention during the awards night on 14 July when he listed seven reasons to be proud to be an IEEE member, including IEEE’s global reach and its humanitarian activities, and leadership in research and standards. Top volunteers in the region were honored during the IEEE Region 10 Awards Gala.
The evening featured an array of Indian dances performed by a professional group of traditional dancers. Other cultural presentations included the Haka war cry dance of the Maori people of New Zealand, traditional dances from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and musical performances by several Indian groups. Volunteers from a variety of countries displayed cultural artifacts and offered regional gifts and food. The event also hosted a technical poster competition judged by the IEEE presidents. The top five winners shared a cash prize of US $1000.
IEEE SIGHT, a group that promotes technology for humanitarian purposes, hosted workshops that included sessions on how to organize engineering projects that can benefit local communities. There was also a session on the IEEE Teacher In-Service Program that focused on training volunteers to host teacher-training workshops in their areas.
T.L. Prasanna Venkatesan is the Region 10 representative of IEEE Member and Geographic Activities