It’s Time to Nominate the Next Leaders of IEEE

Volunteers are needed to serve as corporate officers, committee chairs, and other positions

2 min read
Illustration of circles with icons of people.
Illustration: iStockphoto

THE INSTITUTE IEEE is governed by volunteer members and depends on them for many things including editing its publications, organizing conferences, coordinating regional and local activities, writing standards, leading educational activities, and identifying individuals for IEEE recognitions and awards. See below for the complete list. To nominate a person for a position, complete this form.

The Nominations and Appointments (N&A) Committee is responsible for developing recommendations for staffing many volunteer positions including candidates for president-elect and corporate officers. Its recommendations are sent to the Board of Directors and the IEEE Assembly. Accordingly, the N&A committee is seeking nominees for the following positions (note below the deadline to receive nominations):

2023 IEEE President-Elect (who will serve as President in 2024)

2022 IEEE Corporate Officers

  • Secretary

  • Treasurer

  • Vice President, Educational Activities

  • Vice President, Publication Services and Products

2022 IEEE Committees Chairs and Members

  • Audit

  • Awards Board

  • Election Oversight

  • Employee Benefits and Compensation

  • Ethics and Member Conduct

  • European Public PolicyFellow

  • Global Public Policy

  • Governance

  • History

  • Humanitarian Activities

  • Industry Engagement

  • New Initiatives

  • Nominations and Appointments

  • Public Visibility

  • Strategy and Alignment

  • Tellers

DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS

28 March

  • Vice President, Educational Activities

  • Vice President, Publication Services and Products

  • Committee Chairs

15 June

  • President-Elect

  • Secretary

  • Treasurer

  • Committee Members

WHO CAN NOMINATE

Anyone may submit a nomination. Self-nominations are encouraged. Nominators do not need to be IEEE members, but nominees must meet certain qualifications. An IEEE organizational unit may submit recommendations endorsed by its governing body or the body’s designee.

A person may be nominated for more than one position. Nominators need not contact their nominees before submitting the form. The IEEE N&A committee will contact all eligible nominees for the required documentation and for their interest and willingness to be considered for the position.

HOW TO NOMINATE

For information about the positions, including qualifications and estimates of the time required by each position during the term of office, check the Guidelines for Nominating Candidates. To nominate a person for a position, complete this form.

NOMINATING TIPS

Make sure to check eligibility requirements on the N&A committee website before submitting a nomination to avoid nominating candidates that, for one reason or another, may be ineligible for a particular position.

The positions for which the N&A committee makes recommendations represent IEEE’s uppermost governance levels. Volunteers with relevant prior experience in lower-level IEEE committees and units are recommended by the committee more often than volunteers without such experience. For example, candidates for the Awards Board have a greater likelihood of being recommended if they have already served on an awards committee of a society, section, or region or on another IEEE board.

Individuals recommended for president-elect and corporate officer positions are more likely to be recommended if they possess a strong track record of leadership and relevant accomplishments within and outside IEEE. Recommended candidates often have significant prior experience as members of IEEE boards and standing committees.

More information about the duties associated with the different positions, qualifications, and eligibility requisites (such as prior service in certain positions or IEEE grade) can be found in the Guidelines for Nominating Candidates.

 Keisha Carr is the senior nominations and appointments specialist at IEEE.

IEEE membership offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities for those who share a common interest in technology. If you are not already a member, consider joining IEEE and becoming part of a worldwide network of more than 400,000 students and professionals.

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The Inner Beauty of Basic Electronics

Open Circuits showcases the surprising complexity of passive components

5 min read
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A photo of a high-stability film resistor with the letters "MIS" in yellow.
All photos by Eric Schlaepfer & Windell H. Oskay
Blue

Eric Schlaepfer was trying to fix a broken piece of test equipment when he came across the cause of the problem—a troubled tantalum capacitor. The component had somehow shorted out, and he wanted to know why. So he polished it down for a look inside. He never found the source of the short, but he and his collaborator, Windell H. Oskay, discovered something even better: a breathtaking hidden world inside electronics. What followed were hours and hours of polishing, cleaning, and photography that resulted in Open Circuits: The Inner Beauty of Electronic Components (No Starch Press, 2022), an excerpt of which follows. As the authors write, everything about these components is deliberately designed to meet specific technical needs, but that design leads to “accidental beauty: the emergent aesthetics of things you were never expected to see.”

From a book that spans the wide world of electronics, what we at IEEE Spectrum found surprisingly compelling were the insides of things we don’t spend much time thinking about, passive components. Transistors, LEDs, and other semiconductors may be where the action is, but the simple physics of resistors, capacitors, and inductors have their own sort of splendor.

High-Stability Film Resistor

A photo of a high-stability film resistor with the letters "MIS" in yellow.

All photos by Eric Schlaepfer & Windell H. Oskay

This high-stability film resistor, about 4 millimeters in diameter, is made in much the same way as its inexpensive carbon-film cousin, but with exacting precision. A ceramic rod is coated with a fine layer of resistive film (thin metal, metal oxide, or carbon) and then a perfectly uniform helical groove is machined into the film.

Instead of coating the resistor with an epoxy, it’s hermetically sealed in a lustrous little glass envelope. This makes the resistor more robust, ideal for specialized cases such as precision reference instrumentation, where long-term stability of the resistor is critical. The glass envelope provides better isolation against moisture and other environmental changes than standard coatings like epoxy.

15-Turn Trimmer Potentiometer

A photo of a blue chip
A photo of a blue chip on a circuit board.

It takes 15 rotations of an adjustment screw to move a 15-turn trimmer potentiometer from one end of its resistive range to the other. Circuits that need to be adjusted with fine resolution control use this type of trimmer pot instead of the single-turn variety.

The resistive element in this trimmer is a strip of cermet—a composite of ceramic and metal—silk-screened on a white ceramic substrate. Screen-printed metal links each end of the strip to the connecting wires. It’s a flattened, linear version of the horseshoe-shaped resistive element in single-turn trimmers.

Turning the adjustment screw moves a plastic slider along a track. The wiper is a spring finger, a spring-loaded metal contact, attached to the slider. It makes contact between a metal strip and the selected point on the strip of resistive film.

Ceramic Disc Capacitor

A cutaway of a Ceramic Disc Capacitor
A photo of a Ceramic Disc Capacitor

Capacitors are fundamental electronic components that store energy in the form of static electricity. They’re used in countless ways, including for bulk energy storage, to smooth out electronic signals, and as computer memory cells. The simplest capacitor consists of two parallel metal plates with a gap between them, but capacitors can take many forms so long as there are two conductive surfaces, called electrodes, separated by an insulator.

A ceramic disc capacitor is a low-cost capacitor that is frequently found in appliances and toys. Its insulator is a ceramic disc, and its two parallel plates are extremely thin metal coatings that are evaporated or sputtered onto the disc’s outer surfaces. Connecting wires are attached using solder, and the whole assembly is dipped into a porous coating material that dries hard and protects the capacitor from damage.

Film Capacitor

An image of a cut away of a capacitor
A photo of a green capacitor.

Film capacitors are frequently found in high-quality audio equipment, such as headphone amplifiers, record players, graphic equalizers, and radio tuners. Their key feature is that the dielectric material is a plastic film, such as polyester or polypropylene.

The metal electrodes of this film capacitor are vacuum-deposited on the surfaces of long strips of plastic film. After the leads are attached, the films are rolled up and dipped into an epoxy that binds the assembly together. Then the completed assembly is dipped in a tough outer coating and marked with its value.

Other types of film capacitors are made by stacking flat layers of metallized plastic film, rather than rolling up layers of film.

Dipped Tantalum Capacitor

A photo of a cutaway of a Dipped Tantalum Capacitor

At the core of this capacitor is a porous pellet of tantalum metal. The pellet is made from tantalum powder and sintered, or compressed at a high temperature, into a dense, spongelike solid.

Just like a kitchen sponge, the resulting pellet has a high surface area per unit volume. The pellet is then anodized, creating an insulating oxide layer with an equally high surface area. This process packs a lot of capacitance into a compact device, using spongelike geometry rather than the stacked or rolled layers that most other capacitors use.

The device’s positive terminal, or anode, is connected directly to the tantalum metal. The negative terminal, or cathode, is formed by a thin layer of conductive manganese dioxide coating the pellet.

Axial Inductor

An image of a cutaway of a Axial Inductor
A photo of a collection of cut wires

Inductors are fundamental electronic components that store energy in the form of a magnetic field. They’re used, for example, in some types of power supplies to convert between voltages by alternately storing and releasing energy. This energy-efficient design helps maximize the battery life of cellphones and other portable electronics.

Inductors typically consist of a coil of insulated wire wrapped around a core of magnetic material like iron or ferrite, a ceramic filled with iron oxide. Current flowing around the core produces a magnetic field that acts as a sort of flywheel for current, smoothing out changes in the current as it flows through the inductor.

This axial inductor has a number of turns of varnished copper wire wrapped around a ferrite form and soldered to copper leads on its two ends. It has several layers of protection: a clear varnish over the windings, a light-green coating around the solder joints, and a striking green outer coating to protect the whole component and provide a surface for the colorful stripes that indicate its inductance value.

Power Supply Transformer

A photo of a collection of cut wires
A photo of a yellow element on a circuit board.

This transformer has multiple sets of windings and is used in a power supply to create multiple output AC voltages from a single AC input such as a wall outlet.

The small wires nearer the center are “high impedance” turns of magnet wire. These windings carry a higher voltage but a lower current. They’re protected by several layers of tape, a copper-foil electrostatic shield, and more tape.

The outer “low impedance” windings are made with thicker insulated wire and fewer turns. They handle a lower voltage but a higher current.

All of the windings are wrapped around a black plastic bobbin. Two pieces of ferrite ceramic are bonded together to form the magnetic core at the heart of the transformer.

This article appears in the February 2023 print issue.

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