The IEEE Power and Energy Society has long recognized that ‘’Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders.’’ Hence, PES regards students as very important members of our Society and supports our PES Student Branch Chapters. Until 2014, 134 PES Student Branch Chapters were established; but unfortunately, many of them were inactive. In 2014, former VP for PES Chapters, Meliha Selak, came up with the idea of organizing a PES Student Branch Chapters Congress.
The First IEEE PES Student Branch Chapters Congress was held in Ankara (Turkey) in August 2014, organized by the Middle East Technical University (METU) PES Student Branch Chapter. Forty students from 22 different countries finally got a chance to meet each other and share their experiences, expand their professional network and present their activities with other students at the Congress. During the First Congress, students attended several lectures on power engineering and presented their Chapter activities at a fair. Technical visits were also organized with local power companies and manufacturers so that students could receive practical experience. In addition to the technical program, a multicultural dinner was held for students to share their country, culture and traditions. The First IEEE PES Student Branch Chapters Congress was very successful and provided a real incentive for students to join and actively participate in the PES family. By the end of 2014, 24 new PES Student Branch Chapters were established.
Following the example for regular PES Chapters, the High Performing Student Branch Chapter Program (HPSBCP)was started in 2014 with 23 PES Student Branch Chapters participating with a total award amount of $8510. The Outstanding PES Student Branch Chapter in 2014was the University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and was rewarded with $1000.In the 2015HPSBCP, 37 PES Student Branch Chapters participated with a total award amount of $11,625. The Outstanding PES Student Branch Chapter in 2015 was the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary) PES Student Branch Chapter and was rewarded with $1000.
During 2015,the number of newly established PES Student Branch Chapters was growing, especially in Region 9 and 10. In 2015, 42 PES Student Branch Chapters were established.During 2015, a call for proposal for organization of the Second PES Student Branch Chapters Congress was sent to all student chapters. At the end of 2015, there were a total of 175 PES Student Branch Chapterswith38from Regions 1-7,26 from Region 8,49 from Region 9and 63 from Region 10.
The proposal from the Malaysian Section’s PES was accepted and the 2nd PES Student Branch Chapters Congress was held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)in August 2016. The Congress was sponsored by domestic electrical companies and provided technical lectures, a fair, non-technical workshops and both technical and non-technical field trips. Sixty nine students from more than 20 different countries were together for three days to share their experiences and expand their professional network.
In 2016, 61 new IEEE PES Student Branch Chapters were established. At the end of 2016, there were a total of 236 PES Student Branch Chapters with 42 from Regions 1-7, 39 from Region 8,62 from Region 9 and 93 from Region 10. In HPSBCP 2016, more than 70 PES Student Branch Chapters submitted reports about their activities.
An IEEE PES Student Branch Chapters Congress for Regions 1-7 will be planned in 2017 in order to encourage students in these regions If ‘’Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders,’’ then IEEE PES will definitely have a very bright future with outstanding leaders.
Danijel Topić, PhD
IEEE PES Student Branch Chapters Coordinator
J. Strossmayer, University of Osijek
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology, Osijek