Section News

Region 8 Awards | Eduardo Audiche on what it means to be an IEEE Region 8 Awards Winner

IEEE UK and Ireland Section won a total of five awards at the 119th Region 8 Meeting in Cairo in October 2022.  Amongst the awards were two presented to Section Secretary Eduardo Audiche; the R8 Outstanding Volunteer Award and on behalf of the R8 Outstanding SIGHT Group.

Here, Eduardo gives the background to the awards, his reaction to winning and what they mean to him on a personal level.

R8 Outstanding Volunteer Award

I have worked as an IEEE volunteer since I was an engineering student in 2000. IEEE has been with me throughout my professional journey. One of the reasons is that I really enjoy being part of an organisation whose main goal is to foster innovation and technological excellence for the benefit of humanity, but the main reason is because thanks to the IEEE, I have made great friends all over the world and have developed a sense of belonging, I feel that I belong to the IEEE.

I believe IEEE is essential to the technical community to improve global conditions. I am inspired by this vision and that is why I take an exceptional interest in my IEEE volunteering work, always trying to provide as much support as I can to our officers, ExCom, and volunteers, as well as our members and the general public.

I have explored both sides of IEEE, the technical and the humanitarian. Working for SIGHT has given me additional satisfactions that I did not imagine. Receiving this recognition is very gratifying, it means a lot to me. My colleagues are telling me that they appreciate what I do, this recognition is a reflection of belonging, it makes me feel happy and more committed to my volunteer work.

Thank you so much to everyone who supported my nomination and made this happen!

Eduardo received his Outstanding Volunteer Award from IEEE President-Elect Prof Saifur Rahman and IEEE UK and Ireland Chair Prof Izzet Kale at a recent meeting in London.

R8 Outstanding SIGHT Group

A key reason for being awarded with R8 Outstanding SIGHT Group was the completion of the project: “Inclusive multi-sensor platform for autistic kids that encourage social interaction” finished in August-2021. The project consists of an integrated platform which promotes collaborative learning with customisable content. It works with a fixed ceiling equipment that projects onto the floor or a table and the children’s interaction is through motion. We have created an inclusive multi-sensory space that encourages social interaction for children with disabilities, especially for autistic kids.

What makes this project special and unique is not only the technology involved, but the apps that have been especially designed for autistic kids (+200 applications) that can be programmed according to the children’s needs and curriculum expectations.

We have made exceptional efforts to overcome COVID obstacles and deliver the expected outcomes. Reviewing the preliminary reports, we have found conclusions like this:

…We feel Child E has really benefited from using the interactive projector as this is something that motivates him to follow an adult agenda and to interact with a small group of peers. This has enabled him to begin to form the foundations of friendship and turn taking which would not have interested him before. He is starting to trust what an adult says and therefore is more willing to listen, therefore the activity becomes a more positive experience for him…

We are thrilled to see how an underserved community is being benefited addressing some of their local societal challenges using technology and making a difference. This award is making us work even harder to continue making an impact achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for our communities.