Throughout the first half of this year, we, as a collective group, have had to process the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, on behalf of IEEE Technical Activities leadership, I would like to express both concern and support for all the members of the IEEE community and all others affected by the global health crisis.
The IEEE, including Technical Activities, has adapted in countless ways to the challenges presented by the pandemic. Staff in IEEE’s U.S. offices continue to work remotely. Conferences have transitioned to virtual platforms, with content presented in new and innovative ways. Society and Council volunteer leadership have conducted business remotely. The challenges we are facing have, in an unprecedented way, required us to react quickly to the changing landscape, and both identify and implement new ways of gathering and presenting information.
While the first IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB) meeting of 2020 was held face-to-face in Orlando, Florida, USA only a few short months ago, the world has changed so much since then. In conjunction with the June 2020 IEEE Virtual Board Series, the second TAB meeting of 2020 was not held in Chicago, Illinois, USA, but rather via a WebEx event. As the duration of the TAB meeting was shortened to accommodate multiple days of meetings over many time zones – a truly global endeavor – only time-sensitive or business critical items were discussed. In the weeks following this virtual meeting, a number of webinars were held to present information from this year’s TAB Ad Hoc Committees, which include for 2020:
- TAB Ad Hoc on New TA Constituent Model & Opportunities (Chair: Steve Diamond)
- TAB Ad Hoc on 21 Day/24 Hour Rule (Chair: John Verboncoeur)
- TAB Ad Hoc on Sections Congress (Chair: Fred Schindler)
- TAB Ad Hoc on Accelerate Localization/Globalization of IEEE Technical Contents (Chair: Peter Luh)
As well as collaboration between TAB and IEEE OUs via 2020 Joint Ad Hoc Committees:
- IEEE TAB/MGA Ad Hoc Committee on Geographical-Technical (Geo-Tech) Activities (Co-Chairs: John Verboncoeur and Costas Stasopoulus)
- IEEE MGA/SA/TAB Ad Hoc Committee on Sustainable Development (Co-Chairs: Bruno Meyer, Maike Luiken and Robert Fish)
- TAB/PSPB Ad Hoc to Operationalize Joint Strategy (Chair: Peter Luh)
- IEEE TAB/MGA Joint Ad Hoc Committee on Improving Chapter Support (Co-Chairs: Bob Rassa and Jill Gostin)
I would like to acknowledge the exceptional efforts of each of these 2020 Ad Hoc Committees, which I look forward to discussing in greater depth in my next message.
Finally, as many continue to be directly or indirectly engaged in the fight against COVID-19 and its effects on global health and safety, research, infrastructure, and communications, I would like to note that IEEE has identified articles from the IEEE Xplore digital library that may help researchers understand and manage different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and technologies that can be leveraged to combat it. All content in this collection is now free to access, with additional rights for all types of reuse, including full text and data mining, and analysis.
Thank you again for your membership in the IEEE, and for all that you do to make IEEE a vibrant community. I look forward to working with you this year as we continue working to advance technology for the benefit of humanity.
2020 Vice President, IEEE Technical Activities