IEEE President’s Note: Personalize Your Membership

There are a number of ways to make your membership work for you

3 min read
Photo of Susan K. Land, IEEE president and CEO.
Photo: Susan K. Land

THE INSTITUTE IEEE membership means something different to each individual. For some, being a member means coordinating a conference. To others it is chairing a standards working group or editing a publication. Some individuals become members because they want to show the world the “boots on the ground" vision of IEEE's mission: advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.

When people join, they are looking for IEEE to fulfill a need. Over the years, we have conducted a number of membership surveys. I have looked carefully at the data from those conducted from 2015 to 2020. What I found is consistent. Our members want IEEE to help them remain technically current, engage and network with others, and enhance their careers.

One of the best choices I made more than 20 years ago was to become involved in IEEE. It helped define who I am both personally and technically. Once you become involved with the organization, you see how collaborative and how effective each individual can be. When I saw how I could empower other members and volunteers and how together we could make positive changes to our profession, I was hooked! This is what I want to share with every individual working in technology. This is an essential point. It is important to understand that IEEE brings together and welcomes to its membership not only engineers but also technologists from a variety of fields, including computer sciences, information technology, physical science, biological and medical science, mathematics, technical communications, education, management, law, and policy.

IEEE is home to some of the highest caliber individuals with whom I have ever been associated. It also has always been a place where my ideas are welcome and participation encouraged. My desire is to see IEEE continue to be a place where future members, particularly those from underprivileged or underrepresented groups including women, students, and young professionals as well as those in less advanced economies, seeking professional growth can participate and contribute. I would like to help these colleagues in their quest. As never before, they need guidance and support navigating expanding markets and gaining the necessary knowledge to become more competitive across the broad expanse of technical careers.

We live in a diverse world full of complex problems. Solving them requires an environment of collaboration with active and open engagement. IEEE can uniquely provide this environment where every individual's passion and commitment is represented and respected, where they feel engaged and empowered, and where we can all work together to support IEEE's mission.

I believe that it is vital that IEEE live up to the ideals expressed in our Code of Ethics: that IEEE be a place where people feel respected and included. We should welcome new and challenging ideas from everyone. It is my hope that we work together to ensure that IEEE continues to support robust diversity of thought and build a community where differences of opinion can be discussed and resolved collegially and where we can find consensus in expanding and furthering IEEE's mission. I hope that we can work together to create safe and supportive environments, free from bullying, that attract and nurture individuals who strive for professional and technical growth.

Let's work together to accelerate and nurture innovation, helping to make IEEE the technical professional's lifelong network of choice and the first place people go for the highest quality technical information.

I encourage all our members to get involved, use your membership to its fullest, and be part of the drive toward fulfilling our mission of advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. It is remarkable what we can accomplish working together!

Please share your thoughts with me at president@ieee.org.

Susan K. (Kathy) Land is 2021 IEEE President & CEO.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENGAGEMENT

IEEE is built on the strength of its members and their volunteer efforts throughout the organization. Volunteering not only benefits IEEE as an organization but is also one of the key benefits available to members. Two new opportunities hope to simplify the process and offer flexibility to volunteering within IEEE.

The IEEE Volunteering platform enables members to search for opportunities across the organization, be it short- or long-term, local or remote. Those who are looking for helpers can post the positions they need to fill. The portal was developed by the IEEE Young Professionals group but is open to all IEEE members. By using the platform, IEEE leaders, volunteers, and members can connect with each other according to their schedule, talent, and interest.

The objective of the new IEEE Volunteer STEM Portal is to leverage IEEE's global community to engage and impact as many students as possible and to increase volunteer engagement in preuniversity science, technology, engineering, and math activities. It will serve as a centralized volunteer resource for all such activities across IEEE's operating units.

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