At the halfway point of my time as 2022 Vice President, IEEE Technical Activities, I am pleased to share an update of the significant and important work that is being done thanks to our volunteers and staff. The June 2022 IEEE Board Series marked the first time that the IEEE Technical Activities Board (TAB) has been able to come together in person since February 2020. That milestone combined with the opportunity to hear reports on current activities made for an exciting time in Bellevue, Washington, USA.
In addition to the three focus areas I mention below, we have continued to foster a more strategic, discussion-oriented structure during TAB meetings. Speakers are asked to stick to 3-4 slides during their presentations to TAB, in order to free up more time for important discussion. When more detailed background information is necessary, speakers are encouraged to provide supporting material ahead of time either as a supplemental report on the TAB agenda, or in the form of a pre-TAB webinar. I am pleased to say that this has led to a more efficient in-person TAB meeting, with emphasis on productive discussion of strategy and business critical to the health and well-being of TAB.
Climate Change Activity
In my last message, I announced the formation of a program on climate change, intended to support 2022 IEEE President K. J. Ray Liu’s planned launch of a related IEEE Ad Hoc Committee. I am glad to share that this TAB-nurtured program has met numerous times to share information, and that so far 25 members from more than 10 different S/Cs are engaged.
A highlight of the TAB meeting was hearing an update from the activity’s chair, Wei-Jen Lee, and learning more about the upcoming trajectory of the program. At this time, IEEE is not currently identified as a major player in climate change, which is a shame, as many younger engineers want to work in this area and contribute to solving what may be the defining challenge of their generation. When I look at the diversity of experience and competence around the TAB table, this is an area in which working together could truly make a difference.
Ensuring Diverse Representation and Recruitment
Another priority area for 2022 has been to help ensure diverse representation and recruitment across not only TA, but of course IEEE. I have called on S/Cs to be a leading driver in promoting recruitment of new and more diverse generations of IIEEE members and volunteers, and to ensure this goal is at the forefront of each and every nominations and appointments (N&A) process. This means exploring new and effective ways to accommodate those who wish to bring their expertise to serve on a committee, but may have limited bandwidth or limited experience at the beginning of their IEEE volunteering journeys. To ensure the sustainability of IEEE, we must find a way to attract and retain our younger members in both our membership and volunteer leadership pipelines.
At the June TAB meeting, we continued to share avenues for increasing diverse representation by listening to reports from the Chairs of the IEEE Young Professionals Committee, IEEE TAB Committee on Diversity & Inclusion, and IEEE Women in Engineering Committee.
Disruptive Technology and Collaboration
Another primary focus area of 2022 is encouraging collaboration between S/Cs, especially with regards to disruptive technology. Addressing each new field of interest that arises can be a daunting task, and I sometimes feel uncomfortable as so many new technologies come up: will IEEE miss some? IEEE was founded by such prominent figures as Edison, Westinghouse, and Bell, so we must continually look for the Westinghouses, Edisons, and Bells of today and ensure they are part of IEEE and our S/Cs. Collaboratively determining how to address this will continue to be a key focus of 2022, through the work of the IEEE Future Directions Committee, as well as S/Cs.
A common theme that ran through the TAB meeting is how S/Cs continue to keep IEEE on the leading edge of innovation. It is collaboration among S/Cs that is a key driver in fueling success. As IEEE members, I encourage you to explore the 46 unique S/Cs that IEEE has to offer. Each represents a technical discipline or field of interest through a portfolio of products and services, as well as an opportunity to network and volunteer with other professionals. [Learn more about IEEE S/Cs – link].
Thank you for your ongoing support as an IEEE member,
Bruno Meyer 2022 Vice President, IEEE Technical Activities