A Message From the 2022 Technical Activities Vice President

Dear Colleagues, 

As I approach the end of my term as Technical Activities Vice President, I am pleased to share with you some highlights from the past year, and closing thoughts. 

This year has been a tremendous year for me, an exceptional year in so many ways. It is exciting to chair this board, where people know more than me on so many topics! 

Dealing with the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, Technical Activities meetings – from the Society, Council and Technical Community (S/C/TC) level to the Technical Activities Board (TAB) –progressed from virtual meetings to in-person meetings.  In particular, I was pleased by the way our interactions went at the TAB meetings:  there were some lively discussions, thrilling proposals, but always a congenial atmosphere. This atmosphere permeates the value of participating in Technical Activities functions, from S/C/TC’s to serving on the TAB board, and powers the synergy of cross-Society collaboration. 

A sense of community

IEEE President Ray Liu has emphasized the value of IEEE as your professional home. I believe Technical Activities  is an important extension of this idea. Being actively involved in a S/C/TC, particularly at the board level, or  the TAB Board provides a sense of community! We learn each other’s names, mobile phones, what they do, some personal things and interests, and you know you can reach out to your fellow board members to share information and ask for information about things that extend beyond TAB or even IEEE. 

I want to thank all  members for what we did together this year, and I also want to thank the S/C/TC  members. Although I have chaired my last meeting in the role of TAB chair,  I hope to continue speaking to groups to share the story of what we accomplish in Technical Activities and how people can join us and become part of our community within IEEE. 

I believe we can do more of this community building within Technical Activities, as together, we can strengthen and obtain even more benefits from IEEE as your professional home, and in working together to advance technology for the benefit of humanity. 

If you would like to be a part of our Technical Activities community by getting involved in IEEE S/C/TC’s  or if you would like to know more about how you can get involved in Technical Activities, please submit your question to TA Answer Central, at: https://ta.ieee.org/ta-answer-central 

Year-end wrap-up

As we approach year-end, I would like to acknowledge the progress being made in the following focus areas thanks to the dedicated efforts of Technical Activities volunteers and staff. 

  • Creating a Technical Activities Board (TAB)  program on climate change
    • 42 members from 18 Societies currently engaged
    • Currently Four Initiatives:
      • Education Contents and Workforce Development
      • Wildfire Prevention, Detection, Prediction, and Mitigation
      • Managing the Food-Water-Energy Nexus for Sustainable Development (UN SDG 17)
      • Sustainable Technologies (Circular Economy)
  • Identifying disruptive technology while sharing and favoring cross-disciplinary work amongst Societies/Councils
    • Current work is being done at the Society/Council level; we hope to build to TAB level to enable knowledge-sharing and synergies
  • Increasing visibility of the TAB Value Proposition with IEEE members
    • Accomplished through Spotlight newsletter and speaking engagements 
  • Promoting diversity and attracting “new blood” in committees
    • Progress in building Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at Grass roots level in Societies and Councils
  • Continuing to build on existing good practices in place at TAB level

See my Q3 column for more of my thoughts on my primary goals of nurturing Technical Activities Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs, and promoting the value of Technical Activities to IEEE’s membership. 

Closing

In closing, I believe the role of the Technical Activities VP and “Chair” of TAB does not mean trying to convince people to do things, but rather, to encourage them to work together. I had some targets when I started my term; I believe I met some of them and some I did not, but that is part of life, and the learning process. But the joy of working together with so many talented people has been even greater than I had imagined it would be when the year began, and for that, I am grateful to my fellow board members and to all of you. I extend my best wishes to the incoming TAB Chair, John Verboncoeur, and the 2023 TAB Board for continued success!

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