The Institute - December 2020 - TI-2

president's column



I look back on my year as
IEEE president and marvel
at what have been 12 world-changing,
paradigm-shifting months. Throughout this period one thing became quite
apparent: IEEE is more than just our
technical conferences, publications, and
standards. IEEE is a vibrant, engaged,
international community growing every
year and contributing more diverse,
insightful, and essential work than ever
before. This year our community has
come together in new ways, faced the
challenges of a global pandemic, and
emerged even stronger.
The year demonstrated the impact
that professional engineers and technologists have had on society. We have
witnessed amazing engineering developments and important medical and
technological breakthroughs. We have
stayed connected and engaged, leveraging computing and communications
to allow critical work to continue while
keeping individuals and families safe.
The challenges and changes we have
witnessed in local communities, across
nations, and around the world confirm
that the work of professional engineers,
technologists, educators, young professionals, and students preparing for technical careers will continue to be in high
demand and have a great impact.
I would be remiss if I didn't thank all
of you who proudly call yourselves IEEE
members. Your enthusiasm in being
members, in joining together in virtual
communities, participating in our webinars, writing for our journals, and moving our professions forward is greatly
appreciated. We will continue to look
for ways to improve IEEE's products, our

communications, and our advocacy. We
will also continue to engage the public,
policymakers, and the news media about
the important work that you and your
colleagues do each and every day.
I want to acknowledge the many volunteer leaders who have served on the
boards of our major committees, sections,
societies, and councils and thank all who
agreed to dedicate their time to the work
being done by our regions, chapters, and
branches. As a whole, there were thousands of volunteers at all levels this year
who said " yes " when asked to serve. The
profession owes all of you a debt of gratitude for your efforts.
Finally, I would like to recognize our
professional staff from around the world
and thank them for their efforts in continuing to successfully meet the challenge of supporting our mission and our
members while working under unique

Despite the loss of face-to-face opportunities and interaction, this year IEEE
became more vital than ever. IEEE operations not only continued but also intensified to meet the increased need for
access to technical resources; the need for
swifter dissemination of pandemic-related
papers; a seamless transition to online
platforms for conferences and events; and,
perhaps most importantly, embracing
new ways to connect and communicate.
Our membership has remained strong,
our resources were in high demand, and
we worked to increase the public's understanding of the key roles that our members play in society around the globe.
In response to the pandemic's challenges, we learned even more ways to use

technology to work smarter and to reach
wider audiences by engaging them how
and where it worked best for them. For
example, the Region 10 Students, Young
Professionals, Women in Engineering, and
Life Members virtual congress held this
fall attracted more than 10,000 online
participants. Instead of the conventional
full-day model, the congress was held for
shortened periods of time over 16 days.
This provided more flexibility for members to participate from numerous time
zones and still fulfill their own professional and personal commitments.
The International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems pivoted to an
on-demand conference, moving beyond
constraints of time and space to provide
a platform to view prerecorded videos of
the more than 1,400 technical talks and
60 tutorials. This enabled participants
to easily access content, anywhere, anytime, and with any device.
Personally, by participating in so many
virtual events, I have been able to attend
more IEEE activities and engage with
more IEEE members around the world
than ever before, despite the pandemic.
It has been quite an interesting year
to be IEEE president. Navigating the
post-COVID meeting and conference
environment will require adaptability,
flexibility, and innovation. IEEE has a
great opportunity to develop new models for virtual and hybrid events that provide participants all the benefits of IEEE's
cutting-edge technical content.

Another promising development for
IEEE is the ongoing evolution of its role
within the field of continuing professional
education and lifelong learning. It is


Amid Global Uncertainty,
IEEE Steps Up


The Institute - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Institute - December 2020

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