Dear technology professionals, researchers, educators and industry practitioners,
I would like to wish a healthy 2021 for you and your loved ones. Pandemic has reminded us the importance of health, family and connections and showed us there are opportunities to seek for during challenging times.
As we start the new year, I would like to that you all for your help and dedication as members of the IEEE UK and Ireland section, and particularly to the our section Executive Committee Members whose support led us to achieve many of the goals and priorities set for 2020.
Our 2020 strategy targeted three priorities for our section, i.e., getting closer to industry, IEEEE new technical initiatives and humanitarian activities. On this route, our section’s industry forum has received the IEEE Industry Engagement Award in May 2020; we have formed three IEEE new initiatives (namely Blockchain, Further Networks initiatives and Cyber Security), and our Special Interest Group for Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT), plans to run International Humanitarian Technologies Conference (IHTC 2021) virtually this year hosting a platform to showcase and present technologies intended for the benefit of humanity.
Beside our set goals, and despite the lockdown limitations, we have run two virtual annual section ExCom meetings and even kept our Christmas Lecture tradition in December inviting keynote speakers from MIT and IEEE-SA to cover new technology advancements on Contact Tracing. Finally, we had a nice ending of the year by receiving a number of awards from IEEE Region 8 (Europe, Africa and Middle East) including the Large Section Award thanks to all the volunteers’ efforts led to so many awards and recognitions for our collective efforts.
Lockdown has not slowed us down yet and I believe that IEEE and its future initiatives provide us with a platform to make advancements to benefit the society particularly in this challenging time. The significant amount of events, invited speakers, workshops were arranged by our IEEE Society Chapters, Women in Engineering, Special Interest Group for Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT), Life Members, Students and Young Professionals Affinity Groups and recordings are made available publicly for our members’ benefit.
As the IEEE UK and Ireland section chair, I look forward to building on what we have achieved in 2020 with the support from of the Executive Committee, Section Officers, Chapter Chairs and volunteers by developing the value of membership equitably for all. I will continue to support our members’ needs and priorities based on a recent survey run by our Operations Committee.
Thanks again to everybody. I hope all of you will continue to volunteer for IEEE, even if not involved in section positions. IEEE needs you! There are so many ways you can contribute to the effort of IEEE in advancing technology for humanity!
Dr Mona Ghassemian
Chair, IEEE UK and Ireland Section