A Message from Dr. Jacek Zurada, 2014 Technical Activities Vice President (September)

jacek_zurada_robot_sections_congress_300x200Representatives from IEEE’s societies and councils joined this year’s IEEE Sections Congress in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in an effort to inform IEEE section leaders about Technical Activities’ (TA) exciting on-going activities and opportunities and increase collaboration with IEEE Member and Geographic Activities (MGA). The event was a major success in the opinion of many attendees, with whom our message widely resounded.

Every three years, IEEE brings together all IEEE section chairs and other regional representatives from around the world to IEEE Sections Congress. The event, held 22-24 August 2014, was organized by IEEE MGA. IEEE Technical Activities was a major contributor, introducing its own tagline “Building Technical Communities.” This theme has been of special importance since it is mostly within IEEE technical communities that people work, learn, and develop technologies. Upon incubation, the communities emerge as live networks with a common interest to support an emerging technology, and grow toward reaching a sustainable status.

Representatives from 32 IEEE societies and councils actively participated in promoting Technical Activities’ message to over 1,000 attendees. As Chair of the Technical Activities Board, I was pleased to give an overview on Technical Activities during the event’s opening ceremony. Dr. Luc Van den hove’s visionary keynote presentation “Technology Directions-from Connecting Lives to Improving Lives” focused on the impact of new technologies, and how new developments in nanoelectronics, data communications, and storage, along with creative business solutions, has lead to tremendous opportunities and improved lives.

Key technical events at IEEE Sections Congress included 16 “IGNITE” presentations – very special, fast-paced, 5-minute presentations – from technical society and council representatives. They highlighted member engagement and technical community building through education, chapters, and conferences around the globe. What’s more, Technical Activities and MGA leaders introduced topics such as life sciences, smart cities, and other IEEE Future Directions initiatives, engaging practitioners via IEEE MGA conferences and events, leadership opportunities, and career development resources. As IEEE chapter activities play an important role in professional training and networking, several events have been focused on building and maintaining them successfully. Learning Labs, 10- to 25-minute sessions, allowed attendees to participate in live demonstrations and interactive activities covering resources from IEEE Technical Activities, IEEE MGA, IEEE Educational Activities, and other IEEE organizational units. Our 13 breakout sessions enabled in-depth discussions on key program areas.

We also hosted a technology-centric opening reception that showcased a video of contributions from various IEEE societies and councils. A special lounge facilitated direct interaction and networking while eight topical exhibits offered insights into a variety of Technical Activities volunteering and engagement opportunities. The exhibit hall at the RAI Center provided a unique opportunity for attendees to network with volunteers and staff, and attend the Learning Labs and IGNITES! in an open setting. IEEE Sections Congress culminated in five recommendations, one of which is to provide a tool to build, promote, record, host, and broadcast technical events at the local level and make them available to IEEE members.

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  • Thanks so much for this timely message and update from SC14, Prof Jacek Zurada. Tech Activities are really the engine for IEEE membership value add. This is what makes IEEE special.

    Anthony Lobo
    TAB Rep to MRRC 2014

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