“And now, the end is near…”
“And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain. “
(“My Way”, Paul Anka/Frank Sinatra)
As I write this last “President’s Message” with my term as your President winding down, I wish to begin my final message by welcoming our incoming President, Francesca Maradei.
“One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; and the earth abideth for ever.” So spoke Koheleth, also known as King Solomon, the wisest man of all (Ecclesiastes Chapter 1). This theme – of endings leading to new beginnings – which I reflected on in my opening remarks nearly two years ago, applies just as much in my final remarks.
Such is the nature of the leadership of our Society: On January 1, 2010, Francesca will take over as our gallant new President and become the “receiver of 10,000 e-mails” while I, on the other hand, will assume the fortunate role of Immediate Past President and “forwarder of IEEE e-mail to the new President” (adapted from Todd Hubing’s President’s Column, Fall 2003). But just as it is said in the Holy Books, “the earth abideth for ever,” I believe the Society is well positioned to reach even greater heights in the future, building upon its past accomplishments.
Most of us involved in Chapter activities doubtlessly know Francesca as an enthusiastic and hard working volunteer, dedicated to the growth and globalization of our Society. The number of Chapters has significantly increased through her dedication and toil. As Francesca navigates the course ahead, I have no doubt that she will put down her mark on the EMC Society in many positive ways.
“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” (Winston Churchill)
In 2007, under Andy Drozd’s leadership, the EMC Society commemorated its 50th anniversary, placing us at the verge of our next fifty years. During my term as President, I had the privilege of crossing this door step, into our next fifty years. This momentous occasion merits review and scrutiny of our actions in light of our vision, mission and goals. I will therefore take this opportunity to reflect on some of the accomplishments of our Society over the past two years.
Building the Future – Strategically Thinking…
“I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.”
(“My Way”, Paul Anka/Frank Sinatra)
“Vision without action is a dream; action without vision is simply passing the time; action with vision is making a positive difference” (J. Barker)
In the past year, the Board of Directors has been engaged in a strategic planning process which will culminate, early in 2010, in the publication of the EMC Society Five Year Strategic Plan. Whereas the “long range planning” (LRP) process, in which we had been engaged was concerned with developing plans in a “bottom-up” manner, strategic planning adopts a “top down” approach, whereby the vision, mission and goals are first defined, pointing to the best course of action.
Yet the previous LRP process and its outcomes were not in vain. On the contrary – once the strategic plan is published, long range planning will continue within the context of the strategic plan. Any motion made, any policy created, will then be reviewed in light of our strategic plan and the long-term impact it will have. The strategic plan should also be reviewed annually for its relevance.
EMC Society Core Purpose or Mission
Why do we as a Society exist? What is the EMC Society’s Core Purpose or Mission? In early 2009, the following Mission Statement was approved by the Board of Directors:
“To foster the development and facilitate the exchange of scientific and technological knowledge in the discipline of electromagnetic environmental effects and electromagnetic compatibility (E3 & EMC), as detailed in the EMC Society’s field of interest (FOI), and promote literary, educational and professional aspects thereof, that benefit members, the profession and humanity.”
EMC Society Big Audacious Goal or Vision
In order to fulfill the mission, the vision of the EMC Society was next defined:
“… to be the recognized and respected global organization and leading provider of scientific and engineering information and services in the field of E3 & EMC engineering, technology, and innovation for the betterment of Society and the preferred professional development source for our members.”
This is where the value of the EMC Society to its members and to Society in general stems out from.
In the August 2009 Strategic Planning session, six strategic goals, intended to spell out our Vision, were drafted and are presented for the very first time:
- Strategic Goal A: Provide Products of Value to EMC Researchers and Practitioners: EMC researchers and practitioners and their employers around the world will value the EMC Society as a major resource of the highest quality information through E3 & EMC products to achieve success!
- Strategic Goal B: Global Technology Presence, Visibility and Excellence: The EMC Society shall be a publicly visible, global community of excellence, providing access to quality E3 & EMC technical information.
- Strategic Goal C: Engage Young Professionals in the EMC Society: The EMC Society will engage young professionals by providing education and other activities targeted at students and young professionals.
- Strategic Goal D: Improve EMC Society Membership Development and Retention: The EMC Society will identify and develop strategies that result in membership retention.
- Strategic Goal E: Enhance Community Collaboration: The EMC Society will foster collaboration within and beyond the EMC Society.
Your comments and inputs to the strategic goals are most welcome. Remember – at the end of the day – this plan is made to serve you – members of the EMC Society!
Legacy… Accomplishments Then and Now
“Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul; the blue prints of your ultimate accomplishments.” (Napoleon Hill, author)
So – that is it! The ultimate goals of the EMC Society end up in actions.
When I was installed as President of the Society, I followed the footsteps of my predecessors, each of whom, in their special way, shaped our Society. I hope that I too will have left my mark as well.
As I look back at the past two years, several initiatives were put into action, directed at providing better services and to enhance the value of the EMC Society to you, our members. These were achieved through the relentless efforts and teamwork of Board of Directors officers and members as well as many other dedicated volunteers.
While the value of some of these initiatives is yet to be demonstrated, I believe it is appropriate to present a few of our most important achievements (from my perspective) of the last two years:
- Electronic Annual Elections: For the first time, the annual elections were carried out electronically.
- Strategic Plan: Development of the EMC Society strategic plan for the next 5 to 15 years continues. After 50 years, the Mission, Vision and Strategic Goals of the EMC Society are clearly spelt out and a roadmap for our future actions was determined.
- Chapters: Chapter development continues, as in the saying “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead.” New Chapters were recently formed in Vancouver, BC, Canada (Region 7), South Africa (Region 8, 1st EMC Chapter in Africa!), Harbin (China, 4th Chapter in China!), and Hyderabad, India (Region 10), while others are still in process (e.g., Shanghai, China in Region 10).
- GOLD Representative: A GOLD (Graduate of Last Decade) representative position was created on the Board of Directors and the first representative (Andres Pavas from Colombia) was appointed. The GOLD Representative will assist in developing our outreach to students and graduates within and beyond the EMC community.
- Completed Career’s Committee (CCC): A Completed Career’s Committee was created for appropriately honoring deceased members of the Society.
- Video Distinguished Lecturer Program: The EMC Society formed the Video DL program as an expansion to the overall DL program. This program is unique to the EMC Society and was recognized by IEEE/TAB.
- Respected Speakers Bureau (RSB): The EMC Society created the RSB program to further enhance the services provided to Chapters through an array of high-quality speakers.
- TAC Structure and Enhancement: Revisiting of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and the Technical Committee’s (TCs) structure in order to better respond to emerging technologies and to better address topics not previously covered by the Society. Stay tuned…
- Leadership Training: A Leadership Training program was successfully launched in Austin, sponsored jointly by TC-1 and the Education and Student Activities Committee (ESAC) for training future leaders of the EMC Society. From 2010 onwards, a Student’s Ethics Competition, sponsored by ESAC, will be held during our Symposia.
- EMC Society Web Site: Major update and restructuring of our web site.
- EMC Transactions: On-time and on-budget publication of quality papers in the Transactions.
- EMC Society Newsletter: Continued publication of the best Society newsletter within the IEEE.
- Symposium “No Shows”: Policies for addressing “no shows” in our symposia were approved. Papers accepted but not presented at the Symposium due to speaker “no show” will now be excluded from IEEE Xplore.
- Global EMC Symposia: Plans for holding multiple EMC Society symposia a year are gaining pace. Once put into action, a symposium will be held in one of the IEEE Regions 8 through 10 in addition to a Symposium in the North American continent (Regions 1 through 7).
“There are costs and risks to a program of action but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.” (John F. Kennedy)
Overall, I believe we have left a mark on the path of the EMC Society. Time will tell as to the impact this legacy of achievements will have on the future, but I am hopeful it will be a positive one.
Global Outreach Activities
“I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I’ve traveled each and every highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.”
(“My Way”, Paul Anka/Frank Sinatra)
An accelerated global outreach initiative continued in the recent year where Board of Directors delegations travelled around the globe, representing the EMC Society at technically-co-sponsored symposia as well as at major Chapter events. A direct consequence of this extensive outreach was the increased global visibility of the EMC Society and the formation of several new IEEE EMC Chapters.
“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”).
Here are some of the visited locations since the beginning of 2008:
- Regions 1-6 (USA): Pittsburgh, PA, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, Huntsville, AL, Greenville, NC, Salt Lake City, UT, Detroit, MI, Long Beach, CA, Austin, TX
- Region 7: Quebec, Canada
- Region 8: Switzerland, Germany, Croatia, Israel, Poland, Lithuania, United Kingdom, Russia, Greece, South Africa
- Region 9: Colombia, Argentina
- Region 10: Korea, Australia, Singapore, Japan, India, China and Hong Kong
In total, I spent more than 150 days in each of the past two years on IEEE and EMC Society related travel. (This column, by the way, was written in South Africa during an outreach visit, in celebration of the EMC Chapter Inauguration.)
Much More to Do…
|“Regrets, I’ve had a few;
But then again, too few to
I did what I had to do
And saw it through
|“Yes, there were times, I’m sure
When I bit off more than I
But through it all, when there
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall;
And did it my way.”
(“My Way”, Paul Anka/Frank Sinatra)
It is said that “Man proposes, the Lord disposes”. At the start of my term I had many more plans than I was able to accomplish in such a relatively short term. I envisioned building an EMC Society villa in “Second Life”, creating educational modules in “Expert Now”, initiating joint conferences with sister societies, and more… But, “you can’t bite off more than you can chew”… Budgets and time resources are limited. Things are therefore left for my successors and …
The Show Must Go On
“I have named the destroyers of nations: comfort, plenty, and security – out of which grow a bored and slothful cynicism, in which rebellion against the world as it is, and myself as I am, are submerged in listless self-satisfaction” (John Steinbeck, novelist and writer, 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature Recipient)
I wish to apply John Steinbeck’s clever observations to the EMC Society: The EMC Society was faced with, and successfully overcame, numerous challenges along the years, but the biggest danger of all still awaits us – that of self-satisfaction.
“Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let’s love turbulence and use it for change.” (Ramsay Clark)
Let us strive to further build upon the foundations set by our predecessors. For that to occur, however, the support, commitment and active contribution of our main stakeholders – our members and volunteers – YOU, is indispensible.
Someone said that the best way to take full advantage of your membership benefits was to volunteer. I wholeheartedly agree! The spirit of IEEE is embedded in its letters: Inspire, Enable, Empower, Engage. Volunteering is for everyone. Some of us just discover that later than others… So – why wait?
IEEE 125th Anniversary Celebrated
The last quarter of the 19th century was marked by an incredible growth in electro-technology, which, coupled with the 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. The IEEE, as we know it today, was formed in 1965 as a result of a merger of the AIEE and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) (from which, incidentally, the EMC Society emerged in 1957).
In May 2009, the EMC Society celebrated the 125th anniversary of the IEEE in Philadelphia, PA, in a special festive Chapter meeting held at The Franklin Institute, with Lew Terman, Immediate Past IEEE President, and Roger Sudbury, Division IV Director, present as guests of honor. And last but not least – Dr. Ralph Showers, one of the original founders of the EMC Society, also honored us with his active participation in the celebration.
What a Symposium… Austin, August, 2009!
Traditionally, the fall edition of the Newsletter is our so-called “symposium Newsletter issue.” Pretty much everything you wanted to know about the 2009 EMC Symposium can be found in this issue. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Dave Staggs, 2009 EMC Symposium General Chair, and his dedicated symposium committee for organizing such a high-quality and extremely enjoyable event.
As usual, Austin provided its “Texan style welcome” and an opportunity for us all to meet old friends and make new ones. The Symposium also continued to serve as a venue for education, information exchange, networking and just plain social and entertainment opportunities.
But beyond the standard traditional symposium events, one new initiative stood out in Austin, also known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” I hope you had the opportunity to enjoy the music played by several of the music-oriented members of the Society. What a blend of radio and audio frequencies, producing a (hopefully) spurious-free spectrum professional and social experience. I hope I did not chase too many of you away from the Convention Center by my playing the saxophone.
Looking Further Ahead – Future Symposia
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” (Albert Einstein)
Ft. Lauderdale, FL (July 2010), Long Beach, CA (August 2011), Pittsburgh, PA (August 2012) and Denver, CO (August 2013): All still seem to be way down the road. But time flies. . . Before we know it these symposia will be just around the corner.
So – plan ahead! Submit your papers to Ft. Lauderdale (the call for papers has already been published). I hope to meet you all at each and every future symposium. I personally see it as a sort of “annual family reunion.”
We are especially thrilled with the proposal from Denver to host the 2013 Symposium. It will be nice to return to Denver after more than a decade. We are now seeking proposals for 2014. Why not consider your location as a potential venue for 2014?
A Tribute to the EMC Symposia in Europe
“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.” (Ivy Baker Priest)
The last two years marked an historical milestone in the global EMC community. After almost 40 years of continuing success, the organizers of both the EMC Wroclaw (Poland) and EMC Zurich (Switzerland) symposia (held biannually in even and odd years, respectively) concluded that there was no justification for multiple major EMC Symposia in Europe and that they had fulfilled their mission. June 2008 and January 2009 marked therefore the final editions of the EMC Wroclaw and Zurich symposia, respectively.
With admirable foresight, the two Symposia have decided therefore to join forces with the younger EMC Europe. In 2010, the three symposia will celebrate the first joint Symposium in Wroclaw, only to establish a new tradition: A joint pan-European EMC Symposium, the largest in Europe and in Region 8, in general.
All three Symposia were proudly technically co-sponsored by the IEEE EMC Society for many years and the EMC Society will doubtlessly be delighted to be associated with the joint Symposium for years to come.
Into the Sunset
In closing this rather lengthy monologue, my term as President is winding down as Francesca prepares to assume the duties of President on January 1, 2010. I am certain that she will be given by us all the same support and encouragement I and all my predecessors have received over the years. I will certainly be there for her to help her just as Andy Drozd supported me as I took over the reins a couple of years ago.
This would be the appropriate time to express my deep gratitude to Andy Drozd for his encouragement and support during my term as President and for his outstanding service and contributions to the Society in his five years of service as President Elect, President and Immediate Past President. As Immediate Past President, I will still be counting on Andy’s guidance in the next two years.
I look forward to the years to come. Even as my term as President comes to a close, my commitment to and active involvement in the EMC Society will carry on.
“Generations are as the days of toilsome mankind.... What the father has made, the son can make and enjoy but has also work of his own appointed him. Thus all things wax and roll onwards; arts, establishments, opinions; nothing is ever completed, but ever completing.” (Thomas Carlyle)
The President, as his or her term is over, does not “fade” away. On the contrary – the Immediate Past President assumes important roles on the Board of Directors, in particular as Chair of the Finance and the Nominations, Constitutions and Bylaws (C&BL) Committees. As such, he keeps on shaping the future of the Society.
“Take care, don’t fight, and remember: if you do not choose to lead, you will forever be led by others. Find what scares you, and do it. And you can make a difference, if you choose to do so.” (J. Michael Straczynski, TV producer and director)
One of my new duties as Immediate Past President during the next two years will be to encourage many of you to take a stab at the Society leadership. Many of us begin by participating in Chapter and committee activities, perhaps assuming a leadership role on a committee, and finally taking the step of running for the Board.
As Immediate Past President, I will be soliciting nominations to the Board and will gladly assist those of you interested in accepting such a nomination as Director-at-Large. This position unfolds many other involvement opportunities on committees as well. Trust me – if you enjoy human interaction, this is the place to be. But be watchful – once you take that step some day you may find yourself as… President! I can guarantee you that along with the long hours and sleepless nights, your service on the Board of Directors will give you pleasure and joy. We all try to move the Society in directions that make sense from a business and technical point of view. But, at the same time, we strive to make sure that we have fun doing the job.
As your Immediate Past President I remain at your service. Please do not hesitate to e-mail me at: email@example.com.
“Closing Time” (Joseph Heller)
Serving as President of the IEEE EMC Society for the past two years has indeed been a privilege, a great experience and… a major challenge. As my time nears to step aside, I would like to respectfully express my gratitude to you all, my friends and our members, for the honor bestowed upon me in granting me the opportunity to serve you as your President for the past two years. I hope I have fulfilled the expectations placed in me.
|“To think I did all that;
And may I say - not in a shy way,
No, oh no not me,
I did it my way.”
|“For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows -
And did it my way!”
(“My Way”, Paul Anka/Frank Sinatra)
I thank the Lord who gave me the wisdom to carry out my leadership duties; I thank all others who have shown me the way to accomplish my plans. Especially I am deeply grateful to my wife, Anat and my daughter, Tami Lee, for their love, endurance, tolerance and support during these (impossibly long and) very demanding years.