Dear UK & Ireland Members
Since my January message we’ve held a Section meeting on 26 February in London to share the key initiatives for reform and revitalisation and hear the success stories as well as concerns of the Affinity Groups and the Chapter Chairs. Overall, the aim is to enhance the vitality of the Section as a reward for all the members as well as volunteers’ input. We also commissioned a survey seeking views and suggestions from the membership. I would share the key outcomes with you at a later issue of the Newsletter.
A number of key activities have been undertaken to reach out to the Chapters that have a low activity profile with a view to consult the Chairs and their Committees for an appraisal of the underlying issues and provide support through the Section. Having inherited a list from the previous Chair of the Section, Steve Nightingale, I embarked on phoning all the Chapter Chairs that according to Steve had low levels of activity/vitality. Strangely I found many unreachable due to out of date contact details or that they had simply retired or were unable to continue due to work/private circumstances. In most cases, we came to an agreement with the Chapter Chair or Affinity Group Chairs to send eNotices and seek more volunteers to revitalise these and much has been achieved since. Please remember that members of IEEE Societies are automatically members of the local Chapter of that Society.
Given only two Section meetings per annum, we also started a monthly online meeting for dissemination of latest achievements and sharing the issues as a bidirectional channel for communication with all Section Officers. At the same time, recognising that a Section of our size cannot be managed by a single Chapters’ Coordinator, a new entity was formed under the banner of Chapters’ Forum to encourage regular contact between the Chapters and more timely awareness of issues that may necessitate extra assistance from the Section. The Forum was launched last month and is chaired by Prof Mike Hinchey, the Section Vice Chair. To avoid many online sessions, the monthly Section meeting will be held every other month to avoid clashing with Chapters’ Forum online meetings.
We are also organising two exciting events in 2016 under the banner of IEEE Young Entrepreneurs on 11 June at Greenwich University and SmartTech which is a flagship IEEE event in Birmingham during 21-22 October. The former is styled as an Open Day largely aimed at the young professional and non-IEEE participants as a token of our Corporate Social Responsibility. The event is advertised on the new Section website with a flyer that gives the details for programme and registration. I’m proud to report that much of the planning and organising has been achieved by the young members, the chairs of SA, YP and WIE groups in the Section. The SmartTech event is aimed at industrial participants and is still in planning stage.
The new exciting Section Website was launched at the end of March, thanks to the concerted effort by Nihal, the Section officer who managed the project and Nick Wainwright, the new Section Webmaster. Please refer to this site for events and contact details for all entities in the Section.
Finally, we had an agreement with STEMNET to encourage Section members to volunteer as STEM Ambassadors. This was announced to the whole section via eNotice with contact details and will provide a platform for the Section members to deliver social value through liaising with schools.
There are many more exciting developments that I will share with you in the next issue. In the mean-time however, please feel free to contact myself for any suggestions or concerns preferably via A.G.Hessami@IEEE.org or through the Section Secretary, Prof Tony Ho via A.Ho@surrey.ac.uk.
A G Hessami, Section Chair