Happy New 2009!
Here comes another year, and how symbolic –the first message of this year is written in Zurich, Switzerland, again away from my home, as I have just arrived here for the 2009 EMC Zurich Symposium and Exhibition. If I were to say what single thing has characterized my life in this first year of service as your President, I would say it is travel. I firmly believe that outreach actually means… REACH OUT! That is, reaching out to our members around the globe.
I’m Reviewing the Situation… (“Oliver Twist,” Fagin’s Song)
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” (A. Einstein)
The beginning of the second year of a presidency is a great time to review the past, live the present and probe into the future. Indeed, as I begin my second year of service as EMC Society President, I believe that 2008 was a good year in general, but a new year always raises hopes for yet further improvement! I look forward to a great year ahead and hope all of you have a wonderful 2009 as well.
When installed as President of the Society, I followed the steps of my predecessors, each of whom made outstanding contributions which shaped our Society. It is only natural that I would like to follow their example, making my humble contribution, and maybe leave my own mark as well.
Change, however, must be done with care. It is so easy to ruin and destroy, and so difficult to build or rebuild. IEEE, in general, is now looking at its operations and functions with serious questions about its long-term viability. The EMC Society is no different and is continuously considering the need for evolution and change.
Winston Churchill was quoted saying: “We are shaping the world faster than we can change ourselves, and we are applying to the present the habits of the past.”
Yes, it is appropriate to revisit our past achievements in an attempt do even better. What was great for the past may not be just as good for the future. Are we addressing contemporary technologies? Does our structure support our need for progress as technology demands? Those are things that come to my mind after 12 months in office.
These are the objectives of our strategic planning activities. As an outcome of the very intensive sessions we held and will hold through the second year, we may just see some changes.
Some Achievements of 2008
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” (J. W. von Goethe)
Through the dedication, relentless and unselfish work of the officers and members of the Board of Directors (BoD), the BoD implemented several initiatives in 2008, designed to improve its efficiency and effectiveness as a governing entity and directed at providing better services to you, our members. Of course, the proof of any new initiative is yet to be observed in the overall improvement of the Society’s operation. While this has yet to be demonstrated, you should look for several achievements that were made in 2008, including the following examples, to name a few:
• Chapters: “Global Outreach” continues with more Chapters being formed in Regions 9 (Argentina, Columbia) and 10 (India - Hyderabad Section and China - Harbin Section)
• Awards: Reviewed all award categories and initiated/completed the addition of more awards (in particular, the “Special Service to the EMC Society” award) to round out a “balanced and effective” Society awards program
• Completed Careers Committee: Established and implemented an effective CCC program to honor our deceased members
• Distinguished Lecturer Program: Added more DLs, from all over the globe, covering more regions with quality presentations and forming the video DL program as an expansion to the overall DL program. This program in particular is unique to the EMC Society and was recognized by IEEE/TAB
• Technically Co-Sponsored six conferences
• Transactions paper backlog eliminated and Transactions issues published on schedule
More initiatives and plans are scheduled for you in 2009. Stay tuned!
Evolution, not Revolution
“There is nothing wrong with change if it is in the right direction.” (W. Churchill)
“One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; and the earth abideth for ever.”
So spoke the wisest man of all, King Solomon, also known as Koheleth, the son of David, King in Jerusalem (Ecclesiastes Chapter 1).
At the November 2008 BoD meeting, elections of officers took place, creating almost an entirely new leadership of the Society. Several new Vice Presidents have been elected while other Vice Presidents slightly shifted around.
I want to call your particular attention to the election of Francesca Maradei (left) as our new President Elect. Many of you may know Francesca as our Chapter Coordinator, and she will take over the day-to-day duties of running the Society in 2010. She will spend the next year familiarizing herself with the duties of the office, the interactions with the IEEE Technical Activities Board, and running the Strategic and Long Range Planning Committee. I am certain that she will be well prepared when she takes over the reigns on January 1, 2010.
The complete list of the newly elected BoD officers, who have demonstrated their long-term dedication to the Society and consistency of purpose in its governance, is shown below, with new assignments shown in bold:
• President Elya Joffe
• President-Elect Francesca Maradei
• Past President Andy Drozd
• Secretary Janet O’Neil
• Treasurer John LaSalle
• Vice President - Communication Services Todd Hubing
• Vice President - Member Services Bob Davis
• Vice President - Standards John Norgard
• Vice President - Technical Services Bob Scully
• Vice President - Conferences Ghery Pettit
I am certain that this new slate of officers, some who will be serving for their first time as an officer of the Board (albeit not new to the BoD), will act as a team for achieving our goals. After all, the achievements of an organization are the result of the combined effort of each individual.
“Man has lost the basic skill of the ape, the ability to scratch its back. Which gave it extraordinary independence and the liberty to associate for reasons other than the need for mutual back-scratching.” (J. Baudrillard)
To keep the momentum and development moving forward, I have “challenged” each of the new Vice Presidents (VPs) with a list of goals which, if even only a few of them will be implemented during the next couple of years, we will have made a great stride forward. This sure will be a “wild roller coaster ride!”
I encourage and invite each and every one of you to consider providing inputs and ideas to the respective VPs and filling vacancies in committees under their areas of responsibility. The contact information of your Society’s officers can be found on our web site.
This is also a good time to thank the outgoing officers for their years of dedicated service to the Society:
• Treasurer Warren Kesselman
• Vice President - Communication Services Ghery Pettit
• Vice President - Member Services Dave Staggs
• Vice President - Standards Don Heirman
• Vice President - Technical Services John Norgard
• Vice President - Conferences Barry Wallen
I wish all officers, continuing their service in new positions, success in their new roles, and all other officers, good luck in whatever you do in the future. We are certain that you will continue your service to the Society and the IEEE in other manners.
A Special Tribute to Don and Warren
I would like to especially recognize two outgoing officers of the BoD, each a past President, who have been serving (and surely will continue to serve) the EMC Society for many years to come, namely Warren Kesselman (top left) and Don Heirman (bottom left). Warren has been serving the EMC Society in recent years as Treasurer, and Don as the VP for Standards. The number of years they have jointly been serving the Society exceeds, for sure, the age of the EMC Society.
Thank you, Warren and Don, for your numerous years of service as officers of the BoD. We all wish you both many, many more years of good and healthy service and trust that you find joy in your continued activities.
Young after 125 Years and Going…
“Study the past if you would divine the future.” (Confucius)
The last quarter of the nineteenth century was marked by a tremendous growth in electrical technology. This growth, coupled with plans for an international Electrical Exhibition to be held by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, prompted twenty-five of America’s most prominent electrical engineers – including Thomas Edison, Elihu Thomson and Edwin Houston – to call for the formation of a society to promote their burgeoning field. The birth of IEEE is rooted in the founding of the American Association of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) on 13 May 1884 (interestingly, our President-Elect, Francesca Maradei, celebrates her 40th birthday on the same day).
The global IEEE formed in 1965 as a result of a merger of the AIEE and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE). In the 1930s, the extensive applications of electron tube technology made it more and more difficult to distinguish the technical boundaries between the two organizations. After World War II, when problems of overlap and duplication of efforts arose, the merger plan was formulated and approved.
From its earliest origins, the IEEE has advanced the theory and application of electrotechnology and allied sciences, served as a catalyst for technological innovation, and supported the needs of its members through a wide variety of programs and services.
In 2007, the EMC Society celebrated its 50th anniversary, and in May, 2009, we will also be celebrating and commemorating the 125th anniversary of the IEEE. The celebrations will take place in Philadelphia, PA, along with the BoD meeting taking place on May 22-23, 2009 (only 125 years and 10 days after the formation of the American Association of Electrical Engineers (AIEE).
A special festive Philadelphia EMC Chapter meeting, sponsored by the BoD, will also take place in conjunction with the BoD meeting series, and all members of the Society, particularly officers and members of EMC Chapters (but also any other IEEE member) are invited to join this happy event. The selection of Philadelphia is no coincidence. After all, Philadelphia is associated with the early conception of the IEEE and is also associated with the IEEE master brand having the outline of a kite - Ben Franklin’s kite.
And, observe the following other interesting point: one of the most important phenomena dealt with the EMC Society, namely electromagnetic emissions are also depicted in the IEEE master brand,… yes, you guessed – the “Right Hand Rule”, a.k.a. Ampere’s Law. Both are clearly observed in the IEEE master brand shown above.
Special events are planned for this special occasion throughout the IEEE and celebrations will continue during 2009 (visit http://www.ieee125.org/ for more details). In the EMC Society, Dan Hoolihan, who led the EMC Society’s 50th anniversary celebrations, has graciously agreed to lead the IEEE’s 125th anniversary celebrations in the EMC Society. Any ideas, suggestions and proposals will be greatly appreciated. Contact Dan at email@example.com.
Global Outreach Activities Peaked in 2008
“Globalization has changed us into a company that searches the world, not just to sell or to source, but to find intellectual capital, the world’s best talents and greatest ideas.” (J. Welch)
I began my message above with my firm belief that outreach means… REACH OUT: Reaching out to our members around the globe. Throughout this year, delegations of the BoD attended, participated in and represented the BoD and the Society in very large local and global events. A direct result of this extensive traveling is the increased visibility of the EMC Society around the world, and the potential for formation of new EMC Chapters around the globe.
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” (Bilbo to Frodo in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”)
In 2008 alone, delegations of the BoD, most of which I was personally privileged to lead, attended numerous events, such as chapter meetings, symposia and conferences. Those include:
• Chapter outreach meetings in the USA: Greenville, NC, Salt Lake City, UT, Detroit, MI, Long Beach, CA
• Conferences in Region 8 (Europe): Poland (EMC Wroclaw 2008), Lithuania (EMD 2008), Switzerland (EuroEM 2008), Germany (EMC Europe 2008), and Croatia (SoftCOM 2008)
• Chapter outreach meetings and workshops in Region 9 (South and Central America): Colombia and Argentina, and last but not least-
• Conferences in Region 10 (Asia Pacific): Singapore (APEMC 2008), India (INCEMIC 2008), and Hong Kong (APMC 2008)
In addition, a delegation of the EMC Society attended, for the first time, the 2008 IEEE Sections Congress, in Quebec, Canada, trying to reach out to Sections where we do not have any Chapters yet, such as in Africa and the Middle East. More than 1,500 delegates attended the Sections Congress and very informative presentations were made.
The Congress provided a forum where the Section Chairs spoke as the collective voice of IEEE to share and discuss their views for change. There is no more appropriate quotation befitting the interactions held in the Section’s Congress than that of Mark Twain:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.”
There is no way that you can meet people from all around the world and not open your mind to new concepts, new ideas, seeing in each delegate the person and not the country of origin. Old acquaintances were renewed and new ones formed in this outstanding global congress. In particular, some very exciting discussions took place with delegates from the newly formed Iraq-Babilon Section, Section delegates from Nigeria and Ghana, Lithuania and Macedonia, and from many, many other countries. Seeing the potential for growth in those Sections, the EMC Society has sent those delegates packages of information and CDs, hoping that in the not too far future, the seeds planted in Quebec will result in further expansion of the EMC Society.
The IEEE Honors Ceremony was also held during the Congress, resulting in the largest attendance ever for an honors ceremony. IEEE President Lewis M. Terman presented 22 awards at the ceremony, including the Medal of Honor to Dr. Gordon E. Moore, co-founder and chairman of the board, emeritus, of Intel Corporation.
Material from the Congress can be accessed at: http://www.ieee.org/web/volunteers/sections-congress/2008/index. html. I am sure you will find these presentations of great value for your Chapters as well.
All over, I predict more such visitations are scheduled for 2009, all around the globe (well, OK, we will not be visiting the Penguin’s EMC Chapter in Antarctica).
Strategic and Long Rage Planning
“Vision without action is a dream; action without vision is simply passing the time; action with vision is making a positive difference.” (J. Barker)
What is the purpose and vision of the EMC Society? Yes, we have the field of interest defined, but, where is our vision described?
In the November, 2008 BoD meeting, a strategic planning exercise was initiated, to be continued in the March, 2009 BoD meeting series. This exercise was held with the objective of looking deep into the essence of our Society, with the objective of defining our vision and core purpose. Take, for example, the IEEE Technical Activities (TA) Core Purpose:
“To foster the development and facilitate the exchange of scientific and technological knowledge that benefits members, the profession and humanity” while its vision is to “Be the most recognized and respected global organization in our fields of interest.”
When spelt out, the IEEE TA strives to be:
• The global information resource
• The place where innovators meet
• Essential to the global technical community and be universally recognized for contributions to improving world-wide conditions
• The home for all technical professionals in all disciplines of interest and be a global information resource
• Recognized globally, as the leading organization for forming new knowledge communities, delivering quality information and supporting technical professionals
• The preferred place to go for timely, relevant scientific information
• The technical Society that professionals join and stay active in as volunteers throughout their careers
Does the EMC Society have a core purpose and vision? Sure we have, but – have we spelt it out? That is the objective of this strategic planning exercise: “rethinking” our core purpose and vision in light of recent years developments, through the following steps:
• Identify goals appropriate to the EMC Society
• Identify resources required
• Identify steps to complete the goals
• Develop metrics - how will we know if we are successful
• Make a commitment to success
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” (W. Churchill)
In order to put the long range planning into practice, the plans and implementation thereof are now regularly reviewed at the BoD meetings. In addition, metrics are being developed for ensuring that an objective manner of evaluating the implementation of our plans is put into practice. This is an ongoing and difficult process, but rest assured, achievements will be visible, and measurable.
Future Board of Directors Meetings
As usual, I will conclude this (longer than usual) message with information on our upcoming BoD meetings, just in case you have the time, inclination and opportunity to attend. Please remember that all meetings of the EMC Society Board of Directors are open. Any member who wants to attend is most welcome. This would be your opportunity to take a look at the manner in which our Society is run, and even have chance to express your own opinion on issues in debate. You may find it interesting enough to make you want to run for the Board during its next election!
The schedule of BoD meetings is posted on the Conferences page of our web site <www.emcs.org> as well as in the Calendar section of this Newsletter (page 93). If you can’t attend a BoD meeting to tell us your thoughts in person, note that the contact information of all members of the BoD and the major committee chairs is listed on the Society web page.
I, as your President, am at your service. Please do not hesitate to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. EMC