IEEE UK & Ireland Section 8th Student Branch Chair Meeting
The IEEE UK Student Branch leaders – Chairs and representatives of more than 15 student branches gathered at the University of Birmingham on Friday 12th September to share their student activity experiences and plan the future of the largest student body in the field of electro- and information technologies. The inspiring key note speeches and lively atmosphere set the tone of the success of this event.
To begin with, Dr. Costas Constantinou, Director of Research of the School of Electronic, Electrical and System Engineering at the University of Birmingham, gave an introduction of the hosting university and sincerely welcomed all attendees. Located in the heart of British power industry, the University of the Year 2013-14 has always been an active participant in IEEE community and is now dedicated to contribute more, that is, becoming one of the first ‘activity hubs’ in UK & Ireland section. “The function of the activity hub would be to provide a permanent contact point or meeting venue, complete with the usual meeting facilities, perhaps including the provision of catering,” said Yifei Wang in morning sessions. The Student Activities Chair encouraged student branch chairs to take part in the pilot program and assist in assessing the long-term viability.
Prof. Xin Yao, Professor of Computer Science at University of Birmingham and also the president of IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (CIS), was invited in the afternoon session and gave a speech about his current research topic and the overview of CIS community. As a renowned international authority on Computing Intelligence, Prof. Yao’s enthusiasm in promoting CIS community also left an impression on the attendees. Also from University of Birmingham, Professor of Electrical Power Systems and IEEE Power & Energy Society Distinguished Lecturer Prof. Xiao-Ping Zhang seized this opportunity and gave a talk about ‘Global Power Internet’, as enlightening as many other brilliant speeches he has given in the past student branch activities.
Throughout the meeting, student branch chairs and representatives took turns to report their work in branch activities. “The richness and depth of student branch activities in these universities really amaze me, it is time to think out of the box and start learning from each other!” said Suyang Zhou, student branch chair of University of Birmingham. From the loud applause and heated discussion in this meeting, it was convincing that the idea of collaboration between student branches has taken root in attendees. So instead of a scattered, disconnected organization, a more united student branch is forming in UK & Ireland section. The emerging ‘activity hubs’, without doubt, will provide more opportunities and aid in the bloom of IEEE student community.
Later in the afternoon session, Flavia Dinca from University of Southampton gave an introduction to IEEE Young Professional Program (the former GOLD). And Mrs. Teresa Schofield, Past WiE Chair talked about Women in Engineering Affinity Group. Both speeches provided attendees with detailed information about getting enough supports in realizing their personal ambitions.
Despite the fact that some chairs and representatives need to fly back to their universities, it seems that the geographical constraints proves no more obstacles for a united student branch. In the framework of a collaborated organization, the opportunities will present themselves.
Notes to Editors
A leading UK research-intensive university, the University of Birmingham is a vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution, in the top 100 globally. With approximately 28,000 students and 6,000 members of staff, its work brings people from more than 150 countries to Birmingham.
IEEE is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. IEEE and its members inspire a global community through IEEE’s highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities.
The IEEE University of Birmingham Student Branch was established in Nov 2013 with the approval of the IEEE, which is the first IEEE student branch in Midlands. Mr Suyang Zhou, a PhD student at the University of Birmingham, is the founding Chair of the IEEE University of Birmingham Student Branch. Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang, Professor of Electrical Power Systems at the University of Birmingham, is the IEEE University of Birmingham Student Branch Counsellor.