Today we had the privileged of speaking to Dusanka Boskovic to learn about one of the smaller but very active IEEE groups based in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Can you tell our readers about the IEEE Section in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
The IEEE Section in Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in 2005, and we are now celebrating our 10th anniversary. We are a relatively small section, with approximately 300 stable members. Although the majority of our members are members of the Computer Society and the ComSoc, we have also very active Chapters linked to the Power & Energy, the Industrial Applications, and the Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Societies. The Chapter’s activities focus around organizing technical meetings with interesting and motivating lecturers. We try to be regular in making use of the ‘Distinguished Lecturer Program’, and bringing to our members recognized experts and topics on emerging technologies.
Since our members are mainly from academia, we are engaged in technical co-sponsorship of our local conferences, with motivation to improve their quality. We were also bringing some prominent IEEE conferences to Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a region.Our Student Branches and YPAG are in addition to technical activities, engaged in organizing workshops related to soft skills, and also social events, technical excursions and competitions.
Tell us about the Young Professionals group in BiH and their activity
Young Professionals AG were the organizer of some very interesting and popular training, focusing mainly on communication skills and emotional intelligence. They are motivated in helping students to make easier careers starts and they organize students’ visits to major companies, panel discussions related to job opportunities and career development. Such activities are performed in co-operation and conjunction with our Chapters.
What are some of the key achievements of the IEEE in BiH?
Providing a framework for motivated volunteers to work together and make better conditions for engineering professionals in our society. With the IEEE we have access to relevant publications and are in touch with distinguished professionals from all around the world. The Bosnia and Herzegovina Section was a proud host for the Region 8 Committee Meeting in Sarajevo in 2013.
We are especially proud with the achievements of our students. The IAS SBC University of Sarajevo received in 2014 IEEE Region 8 Student Chapter of the Year Award, and several awards from the IAS, most recently as 2nd Most Happening Chapter globally. The PES SBC University of Sarajevo was also declared as Outstanding Student Branch Chapter in the PES. Our programmers are regular participants of the IEEEXtreme, and for many years were positioned among the top 25 teams.
For me the most important achievement was a chance for our students to measure up with their peers and build their confidence in their knowledge and their abilities.
Our Section is continually sponsoring participation in the Region 8 and Cross-section Students and Young Professionals Congresses, where they can enjoy being a part of the large community of engineering students.
Can you tell us about any upcoming and exciting initiatives?
There are two important projects that our students and YPs are engaged with:
- Construction of a “Solar tree” at Campus University of Sarajevo, which will be used for battery charging, and also for analysis of the solar energy potentials.
- Smart home project, recently launched, for which our SB was awarded funding from the IEEE and our Federal Ministry of Science and Education.
We plan for several PA trainings for YP members related to project management and writing project proposals.
BiH went through a terrible war in the early to mid 1990’s which left the country devastated. Can you tell us a little about how an organization such as the IEEE can help rebuild relationships amongst ethnic groups and provide a platform for the betterment of youth?
The role of an organization such as the IEEE is very important to help us recognize our abilities, capacity for development and building connections with our peers worldwide. This is especially significant for our students and young professionals to have possibility to build their skills and competences. The difficulties that these young people are facing during their education and in their careers are linked to devastation of industry and economy, lack of the resources, and these difficulties are the same, all around Bosnia and Herzegovina.
With activities in our Section we try to facilitate our members in joint actions to bridge these gaps and overcome these difficulties. It is very important when these efforts are recognized and awarded, especially by Societies through their Chapters, as focal points of technical activities.
Anything else you would like to add?
We are very proud of achievements of our students and young professional members, but there are so many projects and ideas ahead of us. We would like with these activities to attract our young professionals to stay with us, with the IEEE , and to be able to offer to them support through the different stages of their career.
Dušanka Bošković completed her tertiary education at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she is currently an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Before joining the University, Dušanka was working on software development for embedded systems for Energoinvest – Institute for Computer and Information Systems (IRIS). Currently, she is teaching human computer interaction and biomedical engineering, and was the founding President for the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Association for Biomedical Engineering. In addition to teaching and research, Dušanka has been engaged in several projects promoting accreditation activities to improve quality of engineering education in Bosnia and Herzegovina.