One new award was introduced this year, to appreciate the efforts of running virtually activities

The IEEE cares for its members and caters for a variety of interests. The IEEE has 39 different global technical Societies and each Society focuses on a specific technical domain, for example, Computers, Power and Energy, Communications and even Oceanic Engineering. Locally the Societies are represented by technical Chapters. These Chapters allow to access the full range of resources and opportunities in the respective Societies.

The high quality of the technical work by IEEE members has resulted in IEEE periodicals dominating over 90% of high impact journals in a number of technical domains of electrical and electronic engineering. Yet, all this is achieved through volunteering efforts. The IEEE aims to recognize the work done and time offered by each member-volunteer, including the activities carried by Chapters and Student Branch Chapters.

IEEE Region 8 has over 1000 technical Chapters and Student Branch Chapters running exciting technical events and connecting the members to the resources of Societies, Sections and the Region. Every year, all these Chapters have the opportunity to apply for the IEEE Region 8 “Chapter of the Year Award”.

This award is designed to recognize the outstanding performance by Technical Chapters, and Student Branch Chapters in serving their members and the technical community and establishing goodwill within and between the Region 8 Sections. Any active, single or joint Student Branch Chapters of Region 8, is eligible for this award. The selection is based on the outstanding performance of the nominated Chapter, reflected by the completed nomination form and supporting documents.

The process is simple. When the award nominations portal is opened, a nomination form may be submitted. The nomination needs to be endorsed by the Section where the Chapter is located. The nominations are then processed by the relevant committee, which considers the contributions of the nominee with respect to the award criteria.

Albert Lysko, Chair of the IEEE R8 (EMEA) Chapters Coordination Subcommittee (ChCsC) provided the following comment: “Officers and members of IEEE Chapters put their pride and efforts into excellent activities of our Chapters. It is very important to offer opportunity and recognize the excellence in IEEE Chapters’ work. The nominations show the appreciation for great work and offers opportunities to promote the outstanding Chapters and Student Branch Chapters and their officers both locally, which helps these organizational units and their leaders to grow. They also allow for a global appreciation, giving recognition to Sections for the support they provide to Chapters. Last, but not the least, in case of Student Branch Chapters, it also offers a due recognition to the universities hosting and supporting the activities of the Student Branches and Student Branch Chapters.

The processing of the nominations by R8 ChCsC followed the format defined the last year. Wynand Lambrechts, a corresponding member of the ChCsC, described the process: “We apply utmost efforts to ensure a fair process and recognizing the Chapters with the most exceptional activities. We prepared an announcement calling for nominations. The Chair then distributed it via eNotice and social media channels. When the nominations were submitted to R8, they were then passed onto our subcommittee. We applied a system of metrics to score the submissions to each nomination and selected the Chapters and Student Branch Chapters showing the best sets of activities and achievements. The results were passed onto the R8 Awards subcommittee. The final steps were to prepare the texts and graphics of the awards, and use the R8 meeting to announce the awards.

In 2020, most of the traditional activities have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many Chapters were able to quickly adapt and run activities virtually, using online tools. To appreciate such efforts, a new, and special to 2020, award was introduced, themed around the “Most Virtually Active and Adaptive Region 8 Chapter/Student Branch Chapter of the Hard COVID-19 Times.” The award is for one Chapter and one Student Branch Chapter who did the most number of virtual events during 1st April 2020 to 31st August 2020 and also timely filed reports for these events. The selection was done using IEEE vTools records.

This year’s award ceremony held during the 115th IEEE Region 8 meeting held online, on 14th November 2020, using the WebEx platform. The winners of Region 8 Chapter of the Year Award in 2020 are as follows:

Winning Technical Chapters in 2020 awards (for 2019 efforts):

  • Large Chapter: IEEE UK and Ireland Power and Energy Society (PES) Chapter,
  • Medium Chapter: IEEE Serbia and Montenegro Microwave Techniques and Technologies Society (MTT-S) Chapter,
  • Small Chapter: IEEE Croatia Industry Applications Society (IAS) Chapter;

Winning Student Branch Chapters (SBC) in 2020 awards (for 2019 efforts):

  • Large SBC: National Institute of Applied Science and Technology (INSAT) IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Student Branch Chapter, Tunisia Section,
  • Medium SBC: Manipal University Dubai IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Student Branch Chapter, UAE Section,
  • Small SBC: National Institute of Applied Science and Technology (INSAT) IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS) Student Branch Chapter, Tunisia Section;

Winners in the category “Most Virtually Active and Adaptive Region 8 Chapter/Student Branch Chapter of the Hard COVID-19 Times” in 2020 awards (for 2020 efforts):

* Chapter: IEEE Nigeria Communications Chapter, and

* SBC: Universidade de Coimbra IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology (EMBS) Student Branch Chapter, Portugal Section.

Congratulations to the winners: the Chapters, Student Branch Chapters, their leadership and associated universities and Sections! Thank you very much for your great work!