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IEEE President’s Note: Investing in IEEE’s Financial Future

The NextGen system will simplify and streamline business processes

3 min read
Photo of Susan K. Land, IEEE president and CEO.
IEEE President’s Note: Personalize Your Membership
Photo: Susan K. Land

My personal mission as an IEEE volunteer has been to work to make the institute the premier organization for technical professionals to engage with. My objectives focus on implementing practical measures to inspire individuals to call IEEE their lifelong professional home. As IEEE president and a longtime volunteer, I am committed to strengthening IEEE through improvements to its business process framework and to continuing my efforts to clarify financial reporting and promote fiscal responsibility.

We, the IEEE Board of Directors, are the fiduciaries responsible for steering the organization toward a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as ensuring IEEE has adequate resources to advance its mission and vision.

As a strong believer in and a steward of this mission and vision, it is both my great honor and great duty to help guide the organization, supporting the work of IEEE around the world, and directing our policies, strategies, and governance to advance IEEE's mission and impact.

To that end, IEEE acted on the request from our volunteers for an improved financial and contract system to simplify, streamline, and save time that also allows for improved business insights, workflow, and decision-making. In collaboration with our volunteer leaders and professional staff, IEEE invested in the tools and processes to create a better volunteer experience. This effort is the NextGen Financial System.


The development of this new financial support system began in 2020. IEEE's current systems were approaching the end of their operational life. Additionally, IEEE's financial operations had grown in scale and complexity, and the current systems could not provide the level of timeliness, detail, and flexibility that volunteers expected. The systems required volunteers and staff to create manual workarounds to provide the data they needed to gain the necessary insight into IEEE's business activities. This was not ideal.

IEEE NextGen Financial System

NextGen Financials Cloud
This improved financial process saves time while providing greater visibility in real time. This streamlined approach for financial reporting makes day-to-day activities easier for volunteers, with dashboards to review your financials and with more details. It's the one source that you can go to, rather than dealing with emails, phone calls, and waiting on others.

NextGen Banking
This replaces Concentration Banking/CBRS and provides a streamlined approach with a one-stop resource for your global banking needs. Its integrated self-service options provide greater flexibility and ease-of-use.

NextGen Expense Reimbursement
This efficient expense-reporting process offers a fast, easy, efficient, and automated reimbursement experience for IEEE volunteers. It is the new name for IEEE's volunteer expense reimbursement tool, Concur.

NextGen Contracts
IEEE has moved from a manual contract-review process to an automated process. Users can view a dashboard that shows the status of the contract, versus looking for an email or notes from a phone conversation. Everything is at your fingertips, with contract life-cycle visibility and the ability for real-time collaboration.

In May we rolled out NextGen Financials. This cloud-based management system supports comprehensive project-based financials and provides support for automating contracts and purchase orders as well as tracking and reporting costs and expenses. It enables both volunteer leaders and staff to better manage their budgets and track spending across the organization, where everything from expense reporting to end-to-end contract management is online and cost accounting is clear.

The system is available for those who are authorized to process financials and contracts, including IEEE Technical Activities society and council leadership; geographic unit treasurers at the region, council, section, and chapter levels; conference organizers; and IEEE Standards Association officers.

IEEE understands this is a change for our volunteers and it will take time to adapt to the new platform. Training and educational resources have been made available throughout the transition period. For more information, please visit the NextGen website.

As a strong investment in IEEE's future, NextGen upgrades our financial systems and advances the way we manage our business activities. By streamlining and simplifying existing processes with NextGen, we have become more nimble as an organization.

With greater visibility and governance over IEEE processes, we can make quicker, more informed decisions. And we are better positioned to manage day-to-day activities with a greater focus on the mission of IEEE.

Thank you for your continued support. Please share your thoughts with me at

The Conversation (1)
Ashok Deobhakta09 Oct, 2021

Very nice initiatives for IEEE!

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Economics Drives Ray-Gun Resurgence

Laser weapons, cheaper by the shot, should work well against drones and cruise missiles

4 min read
In an artist’s rendering, a truck is shown with five sets of wheels—two sets for the cab, the rest for the trailer—and a box on the top of the trailer, from which a red ray is projected on an angle, upward, ending in the silhouette of an airplane, which is being destroyed

Lockheed Martin's laser packs up to 300 kilowatts—enough to fry a drone or a plane.

Lockheed Martin

The technical challenge of missile defense has been compared with that of hitting a bullet with a bullet. Then there is the still tougher economic challenge of using an expensive interceptor to kill a cheaper target—like hitting a lead bullet with a golden one.

Maybe trouble and money could be saved by shooting down such targets with a laser. Once the system was designed, built, and paid for, the cost per shot would be low. Such considerations led planners at the Pentagon to seek a solution from Lockheed Martin, which has just delivered a 300-kilowatt laser to the U.S. Army. The new weapon combines the output of a large bundle of fiber lasers of varying frequencies to form a single beam of white light. This laser has been undergoing tests in the lab, and it should see its first field trials sometime in 2023. General Atomics, a military contractor in San Diego, is also developing a laser of this power for the Army based on what’s known as the distributed-gain design, which has a single aperture.

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