For his outstanding leadership and dedication in enhancing conferences and technical activities in Region 8

Most IEEE’s activities are run by its volunteers. As we had previously written in IEEE Region 8 Today, IEEE Volunteers are the beating heart of IEEE. A non paid position, in which self-motivation is the key factor to be productive.

IEEE sponsors more than 1,900 annual conferences and events worldwide, curating cutting-edge content for all of the technical fields of interest within IEEE. IEEE Region 8 (Europe – Africa and Middle East), hosts numerous IEEE supported conferences, including 5 flagship conferences every year. Organizing a conference, is a very demanding work to be done, following specific guidelines in order to have everything ready on time.

To withstand the pressure while organizing a conference, espesially when having a leading a role, outstanding leadership skills are needed, in addition to other soft skills, such as time management, communication or crisis management.

IEEE recognizes its volunteers dedication, through its awards and recognition program. Through its Awards Program, IEEE advances the interests of its members by recognizing their contributions in advancing the fields of interest to IEEE to the benefit of society.

Carl James DebonoCarl James Debono, from IEEE Malta Section, was among the recipients of the 2019 MGA Achievement Award, for his outstanding leadership and dedication in enhancing conferences and technical activities in Region 8.

As described, the aim of the IEEE MGA Achievement Award, is to recognize individuals, or a team, involved with Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) and its organizational units for singular achievement in the development and completion of a project(s), or activity(ies), directed to the fulfillment of one or more of the MGA goals. This award is designed to recognize those substantive projects or achievements of a relatively short nature (one to three years), but that have left an undeniable imprint on the fabric of regional operations.

At IEEE Region 8 Today, we had the great pleasure to talk with him, and we share with you our conversation.


R8T: MGA Achievement Award “For outstanding leadership and dedication in enhancing conferences and technical activities in Region 8.” How did you feel when you learned you got an MGA Award?

It was an honor to get nominated and I couldn’t believe that I actually got the award. 

R8T: IEEE Region 8 is very energetic with conferences and technical activities. How much effort was needed from your side to further enhance these activities?

I have been involved in conferences for a long time. I was in the organizing team of most of the IEEE conferences that took place in Malta, was the chair of the IEEE Region 8 Conference Committee when the committee issued the guidelines for technical co-sponsorship of non-IEEE conferences, was the vice-chair for Technical Activities of IEEE Region 8, and represented IEEE MGA on the IEEE Conference Committee for four years. I also served on a number of subcommittees of the IEEE Conferences Committee and presently chair the IEEE Conference Quality Committee. All this involved a lot of effort and volunteer time.

R8T: IEEE Malta Section is active in different fields of IEEE interests. How do you feel being a member of such an active section?

I am proud to form part of the IEEE Malta Section, of which I am a founding member. Being a small section it has a lot of challenges and I am pleased to see the activity that there is. 

R8T: During all these years of your participation in IEEE activities, but also having served in role positions, what have you learned?

I have learned a lot by volunteering in IEEE, most of all I developed leadership skills, improved my technical presentation skills, and built a network of peers.

R8T: Sharing a message to all IEEE volunteers and members, what would say to motivate them and be active volunteers?

Being active volunteers enhances both professional and soft skills required in today’s working environments and allows you to network and meet with the best experts in your field.


Conrad AttardConrad Attard, IEEE Malta Section Chair, notes “It is always motivating to see members getting awarded for the work they have done. I’m happy to see that IEEE Malta Section, even though it is small (geographically), it is big in activities.”