Life Members Affinity Group2022-02-19T19:15:20+00:00

Life Members Affinity Group

Welcome to the IEEE UK and Ireland Life Members’ Affinity Group (LMAG).

IEEE Life membership is evidence of a sustained commitment to the engineering profession. This is automatically bestowed upon an active IEEE member who:

  • Has attained the age of 65 years
  • Has been a member of IEEE for such a period that the sum total of his/her age and his/her years of membership equals or exceeds 100 years

Our Life Members’ Affinity Group (LMAG) was formed to organise activities of interest to all older members in the UK and Ireland Section, not just Life Members. We welcome the participation in our activities of retired members and those approaching retirement. The UK & Ireland Section LMAG is managed by a small committee that meets regularly throughout the year.There are more than 450 Life members in the Section, including 69 Life Fellows and 115 Life Seniors. There are 109 LMAGs in the 10 IEEE Regions, with 15 in Region 8, and over 35,000 Life members across the world.

The IEEE Life Member Committee (LMC) publishes four Newsletters; two printed versions and two electronic versions each year. The current and most recent issues can be viewed on the IEEE MGA website.

The UK & Ireland Section LMAG is managed by a small committee that meets regularly throughout the year and is currently chaired by Brian Harrington.

IEEE Milestones

Recently, the Committee has mainly been active in preparing nominations for IEEE Milestone plaques. These are awarded by the IEEE History Committee to commemorate significant advances in electro-technology that occurred at least 25 years ago. The nominations have to be supported by documents such as published journal papers, patents, etc. and are rigorously reviewed by expert groups before the award is approved.

The Section has so far been awarded 15 Milestones, the latest being to recognise the achievement of Active Shielding of Superconducting Magnets at the Eynsham, Oxford, facility of the Siemens Company. It is hoped that the unveiling ceremony for the Milestone plaque will be held later this year.

The Committee is currently investigating two topics for possible submission for Milestone recognition:

  • The LEO (Lyons Electronic Office) Computer. (Proposed location: Elms House, Hammersmith, West London)
  • The birth of Optical Fibre Communications. (Proposed location: former STL/Nortel site at Harlow Essex)

The EMI CAT Scanner proposal is currently being reviewed by the IEEE History Committee and, subject to approval, will be unveiled at the former EMI Electronics campus in Hayes Middlesex later this year.

Two proposals from Manchester University, involving the early developments in the computer industry have been submitted for approval. The first is for an early computer model known as the ‘Baby’ Ferranti machine, and the second is for the Atlas Computer and the Invention of Virtual Memory. The University has given permission for the placing of the plaques on the former Computer Science Building..

Each nomination involves a considerable amount of work, including the search for a meaningful location for the plaque. Unfortunately, many of the sites where the original work was carried out have been demolished or re-developed. The Committee welcomes inputs from members who had some connection with the projects listed above and who would like to contribute to the preparation of the nomination.

The Committee has also begun to investigate less elaborate and cheaper ways of recognising ‘first steps’ that were pre-cursors of emerging technologies; for example, posters and booklets could be produced for display in libraries, schools and other locations for the benefit of local communities and to preserve the industrial heritage of the UK and Ireland.

Other activities

IEEE Life Members are involved in a wide variety of activities, including the History of Technology Conferences such as HISTELCON 2021, which was held in Moscow (Aug 18-20), supporting schools science and technology projects, providing technical updating for retired members, mentoring students and Young Professional members of IEEE, and supporting humanitarian technology projects around the world. The Committee can put any Life members interested in these activities in touch with the organisers.


The Lockdown has precluded the holding of all in-person meetings and has stimulated the provision of webinars using Zoom and other platforms. The LMAG Committee has organised a series of webinars intended mainly for IEEE Life members. The latest webinar was held in November 2021 and was given by Peter Grant, OBE, FREng, FRSE, an Emeritus Regius Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh on the subject of ‘How Maxwell Created the Modern World’.

If you have any comments or suggestions about your experience as a Life Member, or would like to raise questions of general interest please contact the Committee Chair. In future space will be made available for members’ correspondence on any issues relating to IEEE Life membership

Chapter Committee

Brian Harrington
Brian HarringtonAffinity Group Chair

Upcoming Events

1410, 2023

IEEE Milestone Award Event | Standardisation of the Unit of Resistance – Update October 2023

On 17th September 2019 we celebrated the work on the standardisation of the unit of resistance with an IEEE Milestone Plaque unveiling at the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University. The final location of the plaque is now confirmed as being beside Lord Kelvin’s apparatus for measuring the unit of resistance in the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University. 

2610, 2022

IEEE Milestone Award Event | First Computerised Tomography (CT) X-ray Scanner, 1971

On 26th October 2022, we celebrated the IEEE Milestone Award that recognises the outstanding engineering achievement by Godfrey Hounsfield, enabling the practical realisation of high-resolution X-ray images of internal structures of the human body and marking the beginning of a new era in clinical medicine.

2106, 2022

Watch Again | IEEE Milestone Awards Event – Manchester University “Baby” Computer and its Derivatives, 1948-1951 and the Atlas Computer and the Invention of Virtual Memory 1957-1962

On 21st June 2022 we celebrated the work on the Manchester University “Baby” Computer and its Derivatives, 1948-1951 and the Atlas Computer and the Invention of Virtual Memory 1957-1962 with IEEE Milestone Plaque unveilings at The University of Manchester.

1706, 2022

IEEE Milestone Award Event | Active Shielding of Superconducting Magnets for MRI, 1984-1989

On 17th June 2022 we celebrated the work on active shielding of superconducting magnets for MRI, 1984-1989, with an IEEE Milestone Plaque unveiling at Siemens Magnet Systems/Technology, Eynsham, Oxfordshire.

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