Vincenzo Piuri and Igor Kuzle uncover their plans, thoughts and what would they do if elected today


The two candidates for the IEEE Region 8 Director-Elect position, Igor Kuzle and Vincenzo Piuri share with you their thoughts, through a conversation we had with both of them in a two-part interview. Willing to serve in one the most demanding positions of our Region, the two candidates uncover their plans and actions of what they would do if elected today.

Enjoy the first part of the interview below.


Region Director is a very demanding and stressful position, what motivated you to run for director?

Vincenzo Piuri: I am motivated by the passion for serving and giving back to IEEE members and our scientific and professional community. I believe that a true leader is someone who, having a vision of the future, is able to catalyze the volunteer’s desires and aspirations, excite the minds and warm the hearts, promote holistic cooperation, and work in a collegial way through consensus. IEEE should be by people for people. A true leader has a maieutic role to make this a reality. Time will not be a problem, as it was not for 4 years in the IEEE Board of Directors.

Igor Kuzle: During 26 years of my IEEE membership I was involved in different IEEE activities and I have gathered a lot of experience and ideas what we can improve in R8. So far, I have devoted countless hours to IEEE, and I am willing and motivated to continue making that effort as a region Director to nurture the development of IEEE values. To that end, this year my mandate as Head of the Department of energy and power systems at University of Zagreb is ending, allowing me to devote more efforts and my free time to IEEE activities.


Which 3 of your characteristics you believe will make you shine as Region 8 Director?

Igor Kuzle: I have grown both professionally and personally within Region 8 as I have served on different IEEE positions inside the R8 at the Chapter, Section, Region, and Global levels, from technical, member and geographic activities points of view. Therefore, I believe I can recognize different needs of our members across Region 8.

I am a well-organized individual with inter-cultural experience and sensibility who can respectfully interact with people of diverse cultures and backgrounds.

I am a hard-working person with excellent project and time management skills and strong affinity towards teamwork.

Vincenzo Piuri: I feel that I am well qualified to lead our efforts in Region 8 and in the entire IEEE. I have broad experience: I have technical background, academic and industrial activities, management and leadership skills, vision and strategic thinking, understanding of members’ aspirations, and genuine global perspective. I have deep and broad understanding of IEEE activities and operations, in our Region and worldwide, with proven successful problem-solving experience. I promote and support diversity, underserved groups and areas, transparency, trust, participation, team building, and collegial work through consensus.


If elected today, which 3 priorities would you set to start working on?

Vincenzo Piuri:

  • To identify flexible and sustainable membership models, with fees proportional to the average income in our field in each Country, personalized membership benefits, and more focus on the young generations.
  • To continue to be the trusted source for high-quality knowledge, by nurturing technical activities and conferences, focusing on emerging technologies, providing practical knowledge for professionals, and expanding continuing education.
  • To support underserved groups and geographical areas, by facilitating the access to knowledge and education, promoting soft skills and mentoring services, supporting entrepreneurship, expanding services for professionals and industry, and cooperating with Societies/Technical Councils and national associations.

Igor Kuzle: 

Industry. Increasing cooperation between IEEE, industry, and academia. Academia can provide continuing education through IEEE certification. IEEE can collect and analyze the data about industry needs and based on results the academia can adopt study programs and curricula.

Chapter coordination. Nurture better chapter coordination in R8 with emphasis on closer connection between European and Middle East and Africa chapters. I believe increasing IEEE visibility is especially important in Africa.

Students and young professionals. Establish student branches wherever there is a program related to IEEE technical societies and provide the branches with initial seed money from R8.


Which programs of Region 8 Committees and subCommittees you believe benefit members the most?

Igor Kuzle: I believe that the R8 majority has the most benefits from continuing education. Many members attend a wide range of lectures organized by different IEEE units. I especially emphasize the programs organized by Education subcommittees like TISP (Teacher In-Service Program) and EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service) where engineers and teachers share their knowledge and experience with different communities including pre-university communities. This helps develop problem solving skills and encourages pre-university students to pursue engineering. YP provide a lot of initiatives to bridge the gap between the academia, students and industry which can have manifold benefits to younger IEEE members.

Vincenzo Piuri: All Region 8 programs are valuable to members and all people in our scientific and professional community since address specific needs: nobody should be left behind. Activities for the young generations are particularly important since young professionals (in industry and academia) and students are the future of humanity. We should always help them in nurturing their technical knowledge and professional skills to progress in their career and be the engine of innovation and social and economic development. Technical activities should always be our strategic core to empower and engage the entire scientific and professional community and serve the society.


Can you describe us in a few words how your position statement aligns with IEEE Strategic Plan for 2020-2025?

Vincenzo Piuri: Fostering the advancement and sharing of trusted knowledge in research, industry application, standards, and university/lifelong education for promoting innovation. Providing opportunities for career and professional development by personalizing services and membership benefits and by facilitating the access to knowledge and education, especially for underserved groups. Building technical communities, especially in emerging technical areas and for underserved groups and geographical areas, thus promoting collaboration, promoting social and economic development, enhancing public understanding of engineering and technology, informing public policy, and contributing to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals of the Millennium for the benefit of the humanity.

Igor Kuzle: My goal is to detect/integrate/follow best practices from different IEEE sources to enable closer collaboration across different R8 units and with industry. That plan includes empowering our conferences, inclusion of more students and YP in conference committees, strengthening their technical content and making it more available to industry. I will initiate establishment of Proceedings of IEEE-Region 8, where selected papers from our flagship conferences will be published. I will heartily support Educational subcommittee activities to enhance public understanding of engineering and technology especially in pre-university and life-long training. All of this aligns well with the IEEE 2020-2025 goals.


That was the first part of this conversation with both candidates.

More interesting questions and answers in Part B