Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Looking back on 2011 Sections Congress

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Back home from the 2011 Sections Congress, I’m thinking back over the experience this morning. Going in to 2011SC, I really didn’t know what to expect. The keynote speakers were great, and I especially enjoyed Vint Cerf and his story-telling style.

The sessions I attended were good for the most part, with only a couple of complaints. I think my two favourites were the “How to host a Successful Webinar” and “Using Social Media”.

The Webinar was done in a very creative way, running a webinar concurrently with the session, so that attendees could log in and get the attendee’s view from their own device, the  presenter’s view on the screen and the benefit of having a live presenter, actually two live presenters, in the room to talk about the process. We had a lively discussion going on in the chat room as well, so that was pretty great.

In the “Social Media” session Abby Vogel Robinson did a great job introducing the massive breadth of the social media universe to attendees. I was able to make some new connections with people through the Tweet-stream that accompanied that session, and we are now working on hatching some ideas that came out of that session. I may just have to join the Professional Communications Society too!

I attended some Learning Labs on Sunday afternoon and was really disappointed. The labs I sat in with were on vTools and SAMIEEE. My biggest complaint is that the ‘labs’ were not set up with workstations or connections that attendees could use to access the tools during the session and actually work through using the applications that were being discussed. In one of the labs the presenter seemed to have little familiarity with the tool that was being demonstrated, while in the other session the presenter was struggling with session control and got overwhelmed with questions from the audience pretty quickly.

I think that sessions like these ‘Labs” need to be set up as tutorials, and attendees need to get some guided lessons on using the tools. This would require them to bring their own computers to the session and be ready to connect to the network and work with the tools in a more hands-on way.

The Poster Sessions were OK, but I have to say I was underwhelmed. I did have some nice conversations with a few people while I was taking my turn at the PSES Poster, so that was a good thing!

One other big disappointment for me was that Toronto Section did not have any meetings at the event, nor did Region 7. I would have liked to get a chance to meet the people that make up my Region Executive, and with the exclusion of Ferial al-Hawary, I met none of them.

As far as the “rest” of the event was concerned, the hotel was nice, the food was good, but the hotel’s in-room WiFi was a waste, and worse, they wanted to charge $15/day for virtually unusable connections. VERY DISAPPOINTING Marriott! Particularly at a flagship hotel in a high-tech city!

IEEE provided WiFi in the meeting areas and it worked very well, so kudos for that.

The other great aspect of any IEEE conference is meeting colleagues old and new. This event gave me a great opportunity to make some new connections and to connect with people I met at POCO in Beijing this summer.

San Francisco is a great town, one that is now on my list for further exploration. My wife and I had a great time exploring the city in my off hours, and I can highly recommend it. Just remember to bring a jacket, because it’s always cool and damp around the bay!

All in all it was a good experience and I am glad that I had the opportunity to act on behalf of my Society, PSES. Thank you to everyone at IEEE for making this possible!

Doug Nix, PSES VP-Conferences, dnix ‘at’

IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE): How to Engage Members in Your Programs Via Affinity Groups

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Discussion: IEEE Women in Engineering facilitates the development of programs and
activities that promote the entry into and the retention of women in engineering
and enhance the career advancement of women. This session
provides an opportunity for IEEE WIE leadership and Section Chairs to
network, receive training and provide input into IEEE/WIE programs and
projects. This session will guide sections in forming WIE Affinity Groups and
accessing WIE programs and resources.

The IEEE Distinguished Lecturer (DL) Program: How it Can Benefit Your Section Members

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Discussion: During this interactive panel session, examples of successful DL programs
will be described, illustrate what options are available, and how to arrange
for a presentation. The primary purpose of the program is to provide interesting
and informative programs to enhance the professional vitality of
members. Currently, more than 30 IEEE Societies have DL Programs, offerings
an opportunity to increase member engagement, member satisfaction,
and enhance the value of IEEE membership. There will also be a discussion
of how sections might develop their own speaker programs.

Squaring the IEEE Society-Chapter-Section Triangle: Meeting Member Technical Needs

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

IEEE Chapters serve as a bridge between the local section and the technical
societies with which the chapter is affiliated. Chapters provide the
closest link between the member and higher technical (TA) and regional/
geographical (MGA) hierarchies of IEEE and are expected to serve as the
first and most apparent source of technical knowledge, networking and
resources for its members.


They provide an outstanding opportunity to learn, network and tap into the
wealth of knowledge available in the IEEE Societies, as well as offer a great
opportunity to increase member engagement. This session will elaborate
on the position of the IEEE Chapter between its two “parents,” with special
emphasis on the benefits available to the chapter, to the section, and also
to the society/ies associated with the chapter.

Networking Skills for Professional Success

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Discussion: Networking has been deemed to be one of the most important skills for
finding a new job, as well as for your own professional success in the workplace
and as a volunteer leader. But networking and small talk do not come
naturally to most. Learn how to do it effectively and help your IEEE Section
members improve their networking skills for their professional success.

Managing Your Career

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Discussion: In an increasingly global and competitive job market, you need to take
greater control of your own learning, performance, career satisfaction, and
employability. Are you a leader or manager and want to learn how to use
career development as a vehicle for engaging and retaining top talent in
both the workplace and your volunteer life? Then this session is for you.

How to Run a Successful Webinar: Connecting and Educating More IEEE Members While Cutting Costs

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Discussion: IEEE conducts numerous professional development and technical webinars
throughout the year. What if you could conduct your own webinars? Learn
best practices for conducting webinars despite platform, topic or language.
Although you may have identified one of the best speakers for a specific
topic, he or she may never have conducted a webinar. Learn the things that
webinar presenters should do and should not do to engage their audience.

Doing Professional Activities in Your IEEE Section Anywhere in the World

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Discussion: Learn about the variety of products, services, programs and activities that
you can infuse within your own IEEE Section. These products and services
were identified as being useful to a global audience by the IEEE Globalization
of Professional Activities initiative.

Professional development, career satisfaction and employment skills,
development tools and models for delivery exist already. Find out how to
get started in your region or in your section.

Development and Promotion of IEEE Section-Driven Humanitarian Technology Projects

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Discussion: IEEE is forging a significant role in the humanitarian world using the technical
talents of its members, their humanitarian interests and IEEE’s global
resources to address the world’s most challenging problems—effective
healthcare, water quality and access, reliable off-grid electricity and access
to information. The IEEE Humanitarian Committee is responsible for determining
the direction of IEEE humanitarian activities, building infrastructure,
identifying and supporting IEEE “on-the-ground” projects and finding partners
and funding sources.

A major initiative is Engineering for Change (E4C), a partnership between
IEEE, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Engineers Without
Borders. This session will explore how IEEE Sections can be involved and
include a tutorial addressing funding for humanitarian projects.

Conducting Conferences/Workshops

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Discussion: From attracting new members, building new skills, to professional networking
and staying current in your area of interest or exploring new ones, IEEE
conferences provide a great opportunity to increase member engagement.
Tap the wealth of IEEE knowledge and learn how to run a successful IEEE